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How NDPS has affected the Himalayan Range by making Cannabis a Schedule 1 Drug?

For centuries, in the Himalayan range, villagers are growing the plant that produces loads of merchandise in a year and is dedicated to growing cannabis. However, underneath the International Convention obligation, India introduced The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, additionally known as NDPS Act, in the Lok Sabha on twenty-third August 1985 that banned Cannabis, its production, transportation, purchase, and merchandising, and consumption.

What is stunning concerning these farms is that giving the locals quite enough offer to satisfy the demand nestled high up in the Himalayan Mountains. These Himalayan villages are basically coated in wild weed, and their entire lives are dedicated to the growing of cannabis. This article is a journey into the hard work that goes into the marijuana farms buried deep and more about the NDPS Act.

Background of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and why was Cannabis banned?

With the worldwide increase in production and consumption of Narcotic medicine, the 3 Conventions command in 1961, 1971, and 1972, underneath Section 2 clause 9 of the NDPS Act was a command to regulate drug abuse.

The international organization with the assistance of WHO scheduled the known medicine into groups and prohibited them that triggered the illegitimate marketplace for the growing and merchandising of medication. India besides several alternative countries too signed the Convention for the management of Narcotic medicine. Cannabis has been in massive use along with opium for years in India.

Not to forget that Cannabis was added in the revised schedules by the international organization under the compelling pressure of America solely, who has currently legalized Cannabis in eleven states for recreational functions, and twenty-nine states for medical functions. For twenty-five years, that's until 1985, the Asian nation refused to prevent the use of Cannabis for recreational functions for the mortal together will solely imagine the number of addicts who since ages used this low cost and not thus harmful drug and currently had nothing reasonable to depend upon.

The Himalayan range where cannabis is the only livelihood for some

In the sleepy mountainous states of North India, marijuana has grown indigenously for many years. The village, perched on a mountain at 9,000 feet (2,700 meters), is merely reachable on foot. The hike takes three hours. Villagers say it’s been a decent season so far—police have only shown up to chop plants twice. But those plants are a drop in the ocean. Ganja grows feral within the Indian Himalayas, and it’s nearly impossible to curb its illegal cultivation. Local lawmakers and officials say the plant is a component of their tradition and empathize with people in steep, remote villages who consider cannabis the sole crop they will grow in harsh weather and geographic conditions.

Himalayan communities are proud and secretive. For many of the farmers living in these villages, there's primarily no alternative for occupation. It suggests that life isn't easy for these villagers. Cannabis is against the law in India, but many villagers have used charas as a mean of livelihood for financial security. They put their diligence all into and inexhaustibly, however, their reward is a life in nature that runs consistent with their schedule. Charas gets more valuable each year, but the farmers still live a humble life. Most fields are small, and 50 buds of ganja produce only 10 grams of charas. Sadhus—Hindu holy men who visited the Himalayas in meditation—were among the primary to form charas. They follow an equivalent technique today to supply what's estimated to be plenty of charas a year. There are not any official figures for India’s charas production or cannabis cultivation. Because it's illegal, the Indian government has never conducted a large-scale survey to assess cannabis production within its boundaries.

It’s very unlikely that the police can ever catch up with the marijuana fields and there’s undoubted no end visible demand for cannabis in India. Frequent police raids, destruction of standing crops of cannabis by the police, and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) haven't been able to stop the cultivation. Every year, the cultivations spread through new inaccessible valleys, and High Mountain slopes.

There is a class dimension to it as well. Several studies have found that it is the underprivileged or people who are economically weak suffer the most. They don’t have the money to pay a bribe or hire lawyers to defend them. Though the drug trade is intricate and advanced, time almost stands still in this part of the mountains. Life follows the rhythms of nature.

The villages scattered on the Himalayan slopes are made from colorful houses with dark roofs made from thin stone slabs. There’s one central tap for water, an old temple, and a couple of shops that sell soap, cigarettes, legumes, rice, and flour.

The history of cannabis use in India originates with its religious use, that’s hardly what it’s being mature for currently. Areas like Parvati valley are almost completely reliant on the income that their cannabis plantations herald, while little else shifted to other crop businesses like apples or peas but these aren't occurring within the village in any respect. In 2016, the government estimates 240 hectares (593 acres) of land within the region was used for cannabis cultivation, producing quite 12,000 kilograms (26,455 pounds) of hashish.

Legal or not, villagers use their seeds in chutneys and their fiber for creating clothes. It still grows, triumphantly wild, throughout the country’s many states that depend upon the Himalayas, flouting the laws, it remains prohibited underneath the Act and overwhelmingly it'll cause jail for six months or a fine.

Flaws in the NDPS Act

There is ample scientific research suggesting that while cannabis is by no means a benign drug, its adverse effects resemble those of many approved medications. However, there is little evidence to suggest that its use is associated with mortality. Similarly, crime statistics from the United States show that the legalisation of marijuana has not led to increased levels of crime.

The emphasis on ‘deterrence’, ‘punishment’ and ‘strict liability’ gives the impression that the NDPS Act prohibits everything to do with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. This is not correct.

The Act mentioned 77 names in the List of Psychotropic Substances under The Schedule. Unlike the Schedule discharged by the international organization, this didn't have any categorization or classification of soft or hard drugs. A soft drug is a medicine that is natural and non-synthetic. They need an occasional dependency rate and cause less damage to the body. Hard drugs are artificial and synthetic medicine that is created within the laboratory with the use of dangerous chemicals and compounds.

They have a really high dependency rate and with some hard medicine, it's nearly not possible for a devotee to live without it. This is often the explanation for adding Cannabis and narcotics besides medicine has continually been criticized. Cannabis could be a natural plant or herb that is used to produce a fiber that has a psychoactive substance called THC. This not like laborious medicine could be a natural drug used for recreational functions while not inflicting any quite overdose or permanent damage if used in moderation. Placing a soft drug to abuse like Cannabis has ever since been criticized.

Another reason this Act has been criticized is its aim at reducing the provision and not the demand. This Act illegal the assembly of the medicine however it unmarked those who had been victimizing the drug for years and being a narcotic they might want more. Since this cycle developed with many people, the drug mafia rather than collapsing grew to a bigger extent.

On the opposite hand, those in remission with Cannabis or the other drug weren't distinguished between casual smokers or controlled substance addicts. Everybody was tagged as an offender under this Act and rather than being treated in hospitals, they complete up being treated as criminals. Even people behind huge scams or chains running drug businesses nationwide or internationally were in remission, the drug businesses did not stop, instead flourished.

Imagine the very worst that can happen from drug addiction. The person overdoses and dies. Now assume that the person did not overdose, but was caught in possession of a small quantity of any drug. Imagine the very worst that can happen from drug addiction. The person overdoses and dies. Now assume that the person did not overdose, but was caught in possession of a small quantity of any drug. By imposing exceedingly severe jail terms, perhaps more harm is being done to drug users than by their use of the drugs. The government must reconsider its flawed approach towards drugs.

Way forward

After internationalizing it’s kind of drug prohibition, America is slowly moving away from cannabis prohibition. Now, a minimum of 26 states within America has decriminalized cannabis consumption, whereas eleven have legalized the personal consumption of cannabis. Alternative countries across the planet are following the same trend and are moving away from the criminalization of cannabis use.

India has slowly been attempting to urge into the game, however, the shackles of the 1985 Act have command players back. The primary steps were taken in 2016 where the Uttarakhand Government legalized the authorized cultivation of cannabis with psychoactive drug levels below 0.3%. It created the use of a provision in the NDPS law that permitted hemp cultivation for industrial and farming use.

The removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs that have "no currently accepted medical use", has been proposed repeatedly since 1972.

Rescheduling proponents argue that cannabis doesn't meet the Controlled Substances Act's strict criteria for placement in Schedule I. So the government needs to allow medical use or to get rid of the drug from federal management altogether. The dispute relies on differing views on each. However, the Act ought to be taken and what sorts of scientific proof are most relevant to the rescheduling call.

Although legalization is still some way off, the rising range of cannabis and hemp start-up firms, and therefore the growing well-liked support for the plant’s group actions are encouraging. Considering the medical and economic reasons in favour of legalizing cannabis, it may not be long before the Indian Government unlocks the full potential that legalization would bring.


In the coming days, Cannabis is going to gain a pre-eminent position that it once enjoyed in the ancient world, particularly in the domains of Wellness and Ancient Medicine. We at Himalayan Hemp recommend that India should de-criminalize cannabis use completely and adopt a public health approach to address drug addiction and use. Feel free to comment below your views on this context.


Bruce Ryan
Bruce Ryan

Thank you for the article. VERY educational.

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