Nepal’s Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada Hoping Cannabis Legislation Will Come To Fruition Soon

Nepal’s Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada Hoping Cannabis Legislation Will Come To Fruition Soon
CANNANNEW REPORT

Source NDTV Kathmandu:  Nepal’s marijuana ban could soon be up in smoke, as lawmakers mull a return to the liberal drug policies that once made the Himalayan republic a popular pit stop on the overland “hippie trail”. Half a century ago, thousands of fun-seeking backpackers from around the world made their way to Kathmandu to buy potent hash strains from government-licensed stores on “Freak Street” — a lane named for long-haired and unkempt foreign visitors. Washington’s global war on drugs, and its accompanying pressure on foreign governments, prompted the closure of the capital’s dispensaries in 1973, along with a cultivation ban that forced farmers to rip up their cannabis plants. Now, with Western countries easing their own prohibitions on marijuana, the government and legal reform campaigners say it is time to stop criminalising a potent cash crop with centuries-old ties to the country’s culture and religious practices. Corruption and smuggling “It is not justifiable that a poor country like ours has to treat cannabis as a drug,” Nepal’s Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada told AFP. “Our people are being punished… and our corruption increases because of smuggling as we follow decisions of developed countries that are now doing as they please.” Khatiwada sponsored Nepal’s first parliamentary motion advocating an end to the ban in January 2020, and two months later a bill was put to lawmakers seeking partial legalisation. A change in government has stalled progress since, but in December of that year Nepal backed a successful campaign to have the United Nations reclassify cannabis out of its list of the world’s most harmful drugs. Nepal’s home ministry has since launched a study into the medicinal properties and export potential of marijuana that is expected to support a revived parliamentary push to end the ban. “It is a medicine,” said prominent…

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Source : Nepal’s Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada Hoping Cannabis Legislation Will Come To Fruition Soon

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