27 January 2017
The Times of India reports
BENGALURU: A small group of young citizens voiced out the need to legalize use of medical cannabis (marijuana) on Thursday in Cubbon Park. The Great Legalization Movement-India to legalize use of cannabis for medical purpose, cultivation and sale of it, first started in 2014 by Bengalurean Viki Vaurora.
The whole aim is to decriminalize the use and sale of cannabis. Viki, a TED Talker has also moved the discussion at various levels. Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug in the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in India Act 1985. He called for voices against the formation of a law without doing a proper medical research.
Dr U S Vishal Rao,, senior surgical oncologist at HCG and a public health official who steered the anti-tobacco drive in Karnataka said the medical fraternity needs to come out stronger. “Several components of the medical cannabis have anti-cancer components. But the molecular researchers and scientific community needs to do proper research and go to the drug controller authority to provide the scientific merits of using cannabis in medicines,” he said.
But that is not all, he added. “Just like using opium and morphine are strictly regulated in the country, there should be strict guidelines for using medical marijuana. There could be many ramifications of decriminalizing usage of medical cannabis. Several patients I know have tried to import cannabis in oil form and a few used them. But what is somebody develops a complication. And we were right. One such patient had complications and when another doctor diagnosed that the person used cannabis and wanted to document it, the patient did not want to reveal the usage and how did they get access to it. Ideally we should inform to police if a person uses/consumes any form of medical cannabis because it is illegal in India,” Dr Rao told TOI.
He also pointed that the laws remain on paper. “Enforcement of tobacco and hookah ban has not happened the way it should have. I am only afraid if by forcing government to decriminalize cannabis use will do more harm than any good,” said Dr Rao who is also working with the Centre on NDPS laws.