Gandaki CM Pandey insists legalizing marijuana and linking it with economic growth

Published On: May 18, 2023 02:15 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

GANDAKI, May 18: The Chief Minister (CM) of Gandaki Province, Surendra Raj Pandey, said that marijuana and domestic liquor can be brought under the legal framework and added as a source of income.

Speaking to the media in his home district Gorkha, he said that legalizing the cultivation of cannabis can be linked to the income of the people and the economic growth of the Gandaki provincial government.

Chief Minister Pandey said that it is time to debate whether marijuana is a medicine or a drug and come to a conclusion. "There should be a debate about whether marijuana is a drug or medicine," he said, "if it is a medicine, why not create a regulation and use it as a medicine."

Similarly, Chief Minister Pandey also mentioned that a large amount of manpower is leaving the villages, and as a source of income for the people and the provincial government, hemp cultivation and domestic liquor can be developed as industries.

“Marijuana is banned by federal law. However, it is necessary to have a debate," he said, "if it is also used as a medicine, it is our opinion that we should proceed with a new way of thinking about its cultivation."

He also said that locally produced domestic liquor and ganja should be brought under the legal purview. "If the local alcohol can be refined and branded, small-scale alcohol industries will also be operated in the villages," he said, "This will create self-employment and improve the economic situation."

Likewise, Chief Minister Pandey said that there is also a plan to discuss with the central government regarding the legalization of marijuana and domestic liquor. He said that only the provincial government of Gandaki cannot make a law to legalize marijuana, but the federal government should take the initiative to make a law.


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