Kathmandu Legal Pot

Cannabis can be found in the wild in all mountainous regions of Nepal. Cases of illegal cultivation have been reported in the country. [4] Half a century later, activists are trying to legalize the cultivation, use, and export of marijuana again as more and more countries allow its medical and recreational use. Following the imposition of a law to punish drug possession and use, local traffickers continue to engage in illegal trade in Nepal. Proponents of legalization advocate it as a powerful mechanism to stop the illegal trade in medicinal plants and ultimately increase revenues. [21] Communist Party MP Birodh Khatiwada and 47 other party lawmakers submitted a motion to parliament in January 2020 calling for the legalization of cannabis. [7] Another legalization law, supported by the National Minister of Health, was introduced in 2021. [8] „The ministry is working with other ministries to see how marijuana legalization can be carried out effectively in Nepal. The minister is focused on creating an appropriate mechanism,” Timilsina said. Supporters have introduced a bill in parliament that would legalize marijuana, though debate has been delayed by ongoing disputes between political parties for power. Kafle said the legalization of marijuana could benefit the country`s economy by attracting tourists, adding that it was the arrival of hippies that brought tourists to Nepal.

„So many patients use it, but they are forced to do it illegally,” Kafle said. „You can get caught at any time.” The Associated Press reported on September 11. In October 2021, activists introduced a bill in parliament to re-legalize the cultivation, use and export of cannabis as more countries allow its medical and recreational use. „So many patients use it, but they are forced to do it illegally,” Kafle told AFP. „You can get caught at any time.” „If the planting of hemp plants were encouraged, it would help boost Nepal`s exports. We believe we could export products worth Rs 1 trillion if the situation was more favourable,” Aidi said. He says the industry just wants the government to legalize marijuana in Nepal for such commercial purposes. Nepal is a geographically, ecologically, bioculturally and ethnically diverse country.

Cannabis was a flora used in different forms and in different ways, and its effects were more or less of a concern in Nepal. The perception of its use has also changed over time with the dynamics of various factors and trends across the globe. The views of their supporters sometimes appear with a relatively stronger influence among the population, although the views of opponents seem less and relatively less influential. Proponents advocate its legalization, pointing to its various uses and benefits, while opponents, mostly psychiatrists, sporadically point to its harmful consequences, mainly on mental health. The aim of this review is to review the existing literature on cannabis use and abuse in Nepal. Articles for this review were searched in PubMed, Google Scholar and Nepal Journal Online. We summarize and discuss cannabis in various aspects in the Nepalese context. The overall objective is to reflect on the ongoing debate on its harms and benefits, and therefore on the question of its legalization in Nepal. But now, Birodh Khatiwada, a prominent member of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (NCP), and 47 other party lawmakers point to the country`s potential economic boom through exports to meet demand for medical applications.

They submitted a motion to parliament in January calling for legalization. Another NCP lawmaker registered a private member`s bill on March 2, paving the way for the federal government to legalize marijuana in Nepal. Nepal was a hotbed for marijuana enthusiasts in the 1960s and 1970s due to the perception of a favorable growth climate for the plant. But the authorities made it illegal in 1973 under pressure from the administration of US President Richard Nixon, the World Health Organization and some Nepalese. The oldest Vedic scripture mentions cannabis as a sacred plant because of its close association with Lord Shiva. Spiritually, it is used by the sadhus for meditation and to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. In a social context, people use cannabis at gatherings, festivals and mourning periods to reduce anxiety and stress. Traditional medicine (Ayurveda) uses cannabis to treat conditions such as food poisoning, digestive problems, gout and rheumatism and as an analgesic. It is also used to stimulate appetite and treat sleep problems.9 Although illegal, cannabis continues to grow in the wild, is also grown in western and southern Nepal, remains readily available throughout the country, and its use is widely tolerated without punishment at festivals such as Shivaratri. People use it to smoke and drink as bhang (ground leaves and flowers of female plants).9 Statistics from the Narcotics Control Bureau show that cannabis is a persistent substance and the most commonly seized in Nepal.23 In 2018, a total of 4,181 kg of cannabis and 1,546 kg of hashish were seized, with a slight increase for all accounts compared to the previous year.23 Data suggest that its cultivation is widespread in Nepal and that illicit trade is endemic and relentless.24 Cannabis use in Nepal has been closely linked to subsequent religious, cultural, economic and political perspectives since ancient times. The amendment to Nepal`s Narcotics Control Act of 1976 prohibits the sale, cultivation and consumption of cannabis.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 was also signed by Nepal in 2003. Nepal has also been overwhelmed by the wave of heated debates around the world over the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis.