Check benefits of cannabis, Prime Minister’s office tells health ministry
As demands for the legalisation of cannabis or hemp plans gathers momentum, the Prime Minister’s Office has asked the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) to examine the benefits associated with the plant and respond to the petition within a month.
Two months ago, HT had reported that the founder of The Great Legalisation movement, Viki Vaurora, wrote to the PM asking him to legalise cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes.
Though calls to the secretary of the government of India and the MoHFW went unanswered, the PMO’s letter states, “A reply indicating the decision/action taken on the submission of the petitioner may invariably be sent to the petitioner at the earliest, preferably a month. In case it is not possible to take an action or decision on the matter, an interim reply indicating the reason be sent to the PMO and petitioner.”
Over the past three months, the group has conducted gatherings across 16 cities in the country, and has around 100 active members in Mumbai and about 25,000 worldwide.
Vaurora said he appreciated the development and hoped it would help industries and patients. “We have helped more than 1,000 patients since we started the movement in 2014. The plant we want to legalise is called Shiva plant and it has been spoken about in our mythology. Hoping that the country can reap its benefits soon,” said Vaurora.
The movement gathered steam around December because it was expected that the legalisation of hemp would be discussed during the winter session.
However, Patiala MP, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, whose private member bill seeking legalisation of the “non-synthetic” intoxicants, including cannabis, was cleared by the legislative branch of Parliament last year, had earlier said the bill may come up for discussion only in the Budget session.
A six-year-old boy died after falling into a 100-foot-deep borewell at Khyala Bulanda village here on Sunday. Son of a migrant labourer, Rithik Roshan, fell into the borewell around 9 am and was taken out at 6.30pm. Rithik's death is a is a stark reminder of a similar shocking incident two years ago in Sangrur district where two-year-old Fatehvir Singh had died after he fell into a 150-foot-deep abandoned borewell.
No immediate measures have been initiated by the authorities to check the stinking brackish blushing water flowing from the Harike barrage near here into Rajasthan and Ferozepur feeder canals even after over a decade of the polluted water making its way to agricultural fields and homes, resulting in crop losses and health problems among residents of Punjab and adjoining Rajasthan that receive the water supplied by it.
A truck driver was allegedly beaten to death by three youths on Sunday after the victim, Inder Harpal Singh of Patiala's vehicle grazed their car in Faridkot city. SHO Sandeep Singh said that the investigation has found that the victim, Inder Harpal Singh of Patiala, was beaten to death by the accused after a small accident at 9:30 pm on Sunday when he was on his way to Faridkot city from Sangrur to deliver packages.
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Sunday asked Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann not to befool the farmers with announcements that their moong crop would be procured when the Centre has only agreed to buy 4,585 tonnes of the pulse, amounting to only 10-15% of the anticipated production. In a statement here, SAD kisan wing president Sikander Singh Maluka said Punjab was set to produce 4.75 lakh tonnes of moong.
Ferozepur Division manager Seema Sharma on Sunday conducted an inspection at the Ludhiana Railway Station. She also met a few railway union leaders and held a meeting with senior officials of the Ludhiana station. Senior divisional mechanical engineer and commercial manager Sudeep Singh also checked the operations at the station. Though senior officials termed it as a surprise visit, the Ludhiana railway staff, including the station director, were already aware of the checking.