Mumbai’s first medical cannabis conference has been cancelled, after the venue, Jai Hind College in Churchgate, withdrew permission for the event.
The seminar, meant to promote the legalisation of medical marijuana, was set to be held at the college auditorium on June 21.
“On Monday morning, I received an email from [assistant administrator of Jai Hind college] Barkha Gurbuxani, saying that due to objections by many NGOs, the permission to hold the event there was being withdrawn,” said Viki Vaurora, organiser of the event and founder of Great Legalisation Movement (GLM). “The sudden cancellation has forced us to call off the event.”
GLM is currently leading a nationwide campaign to have medical marijuana legalised as it has been in parts of the US and Europe, where it is now used to relieve pain and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, glaucoma and neurological conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
Despite repeated calls and SMSes, Gurbuxani was not available for comment.
Jai Hind college principal Ashok Wadia said matters concerning the auditorium were handled by the management of the college. “I have no information regarding this incident,” he added.
GLM has so far held one event, India’s first, in Bengaluru last month. His next, set to be held in Delhi on June 28, has also been cancelled. “We don’t have sponsors and I can’t take the risk of incurring more financial losses,” Vaurora said.
Vaurora added that it was unfortunate that he had not been given an opportunity to address the NGOs’ issues, since he have not been told which organisations had objected.
“Our first event in Bengaluru went off without a hitch,” he said. “More than 250 people attended, including senior citizens, journalists, environmentalists, doctors, researchers, parents of ill children and patients, some from different cities. There is a scientific basis to this movement.”
About 100 tickets for the Mumbai event had already been sold online, on bookmyshow.com. They will either be refunded or the buyers compensated in kind, Vaurora said.