Paved the Way for Legal Recognition of Cannabis Cultivation in Nepal

Nepal's ancient cannabis heritage faces challenges due to Western influence, leading to criminalization and imprisonment of poor youths. Despite this, cannabis remains a valuable economic and medicinal resource. Legislative efforts and international support, including a favorable UN vote, pave the way for legalization, potentially benefiting the nation significantly.

Historical Significance and Misrepresentation

The canopy of ancient ships was made from gauze fiber, showcasing its historical significance. Our sages, divine scientists thousands of years ago, discovered cannabis. However, over the past six decades, cunning traders, politicians, economists, and drug dealers in the West have deliberately maligned cannabis. A weak Nepal was forced to follow suit, leading to the brainwashing of its people. NGOs were mobilized to campaign against cannabis, branding it as a hard drug. Those who spoke in favor of cannabis were humiliated. Despite this, the illegal demand for cannabis continued to grow. Nepal’s cannabis was easily smuggled to Europe, with an estimated Rs. 50 billion worth of cannabis being smuggled annually.

Legal and Social Disparities

No significant arrests have been made in the illegal cannabis trade, but poor youths from the Tamang and Tharu communities, among others, have been arrested for transporting small quantities of cannabis. Currently, 9,000 such poor youths are imprisoned in Nepal. Their families are left in despair, unable to afford good lawyers. Meanwhile, leaders, administrators, security officials, businessmen, and big smugglers benefit from the illegal income, living luxuriously and protesting against cannabis .

Economic Potential and Ayurveda

Cannabis grows abundantly and naturally in Nepal. It has been a sacred offering to Lord Shiva for thousands of years. A kilogram of cannabis that costs Rs 5,000 in Nepal can sell for up to Rs 1.5 million in India and up to Rs 5 million in Europe. High-quality Nepali mountain cannabis is highly valued. Cannabis contains about 500 vital chemicals and is a fundamental element of Ayurveda. Making cannabis illegal has led to the decline of Ayurveda in Nepal. The Singha Durbar Vaidyakhana used to make effective medicines from cannabis, providing essential healthcare. However, for the past four decades, the mere mention of Nepali cannabis has been met with contempt .

Legislative Efforts and International Support

A non-governmental bill has been registered in the Parliament for the legalization of cannabis cultivation, paving the way for legal recognition. This law could make every Nepali and the entire nation prosperous. In the international debate on marijuana, the World Health Organization recommended to the United Nations three years ago to remove marijuana from the list of drugs and classify it as a medicinal plant. This recommendation was sent to the United Nations for discussion among its member states. After extensive debate, Nepal decided to vote in favor .

Moving Forward

Nepal is fortunate to be a voting member of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which has 53 members. Ambassador Prakash Kumar Subedi, based in Geneva, voted in favor of the decision on behalf of the Government of Nepal. Twenty-seven countries, including Nepal, voted in favor of easing cannabis bans in international treaties on drugs. The resolution passed by a majority. Thanks are due to the Government of Nepal, the supportive masses, journalists, and media for their campaign efforts. Now, the campaign calls on all parties to pass the law registered in Parliament .

Conclusion

I will be happy on the day when the 9,000 prisoners are released from Nepal’s jails for cannabis-related offenses. Cannabis is a great medicine, the king of medicinal plants, and one of the five sacred offerings to Shiva. There might be no disease that cannot be cured by using cannabis properly. The first cloth, the first paper, and the first Bible were also made from gauze paper.

The anthropological and scientific discoveries of our sages were ridiculed, but sages are eternal scientists, and their truths endure as long as creation exists. The United Nations has now done justice to humanity and our ancestors by acknowledging the knowledge of our sages. It is right to expose the knowledge of cannabis to the world, which has been misled for six decades. One could write a book about the benefits of cannabis, but what matters most to me is the release of the 9,000 innocent prisoners in Nepal. When they return to their families, illuminating the lives of 50,000 family members, that moment will bring me the greatest happiness.

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