English | Dzongkha Friday, June 18, 2021

Government exploring ways to legalise marijuana for medicinal use

Jun 11, 2021

The government is exploring ways to legalise marijuana for medicinal use. Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said this when the Member of Parliament (MP) from Dramedtse_Ngatshang asked when the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act will be tabled for amendment. The Prime Minister while presenting the State of the Nation report last year said that the Act would be tabled for amendment.

The Foreign Minister said the government is taking some time to table the Act for amendment as the country has to depend on international experts to carry out research to legalise marijuana for medicinal use.

“Marijuana is considered a psychotropic substance currently. But in other parts of the world, the oil from marijuana is considered medicine. They have commercialised marijuana. We thought it will help boost our economy. But we don’t have the expertise and had to consult international experts on the matter. Experts from Singapore were looking into the matter and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. So in order to amend the Act, we have to look into a lot of other issues,” said Lyonpo.

The Drametse_Ngatshang MP also proposed that the government prioritise and table some select sections for the amendment to which some disagreed. He said the House can prioritise and table the sections that need immediate change for amendment during the winter session.

“If it can be legalised there is nothing better than that. But that cannot be done, at least reducing the sentencing would help a lot. In some villages we cannot see men; they are all behind the bars and it is difficult for women to run the house. So my request is to put the entire Act for amendment and not section-wise,” said Norbu Wangzom, the Jomotshangkha_Martshala MP.

Today, many youths are sentenced to up to seven years in prison for possession and abuse of marijuana. Therefore, the government called for the amendment of the Act.

Sonam Tenzin & Phub Gyem

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