Asia’s highland: Do better than Thais, fully decriminalise marijuana

News: Thailand recently became the first Asian nation to decriminalize marijuana for medical and industrial use.

Details about Thailand’s move on Marijuana

Thailand’s move means is that farmers will be able to grow the plant while entrepreneurs can sell cannabis-infused food, drinks and cosmetics.

There are two caveats –

– smoking pot in public will still be outlawed

– possession and sale of cannabis extracts containing more than 0.2% of its psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), will not be allowed.

Thailand’s part decriminalisation of marijuana is expected to fetch the industry as much as $435 million by 2026.

What is the situation in India wrt Marijuana?

India continues to stick to a grey area where only certain parts of the plant (bhang leaves) and certain uses (medical and scientific) are allowed.

This system came about because India had given in to American pressure in the 1980s and banned all narcotic substances. But since then the US has reversed course and today 19 American states allow recreational marijuana.

Therefore, it makes little sense to keep marijuana in the proscribed list, clog up courts by prosecuting low quantities of possession, drive the trade underground and eschew legitimate revenue.

Way forward

Before the ban, India had a centuries-old tradition of marijuana use as part of its culture. Decriminalising marijuana fully makes legal sense, as well as an economic one.

Source: This post is based on the article “Asia’s highland: Do better than Thais, fully decriminalise marijuana” published in The Times of India on 10th June 22.

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