Former ‘hippie haven’ considering legalising medical cannabis

15th October 2021

People with serious medical conditions could be offered more help if the local government approves a bill that would legalise medical cannabis in Nepal.

According to The Times, cannabis campaigners and advocates have introduced a bill in parliament to legalise medical cannabis for patients who suffer from severe illnesses and life-changing pain.

Now, the public is reportedly backing the introduction of medical cannabis as the poorest can barely get access to proper treatments.

In an editorial piece, The Kathmandu Post said: “Marijuana has a history of use by our people from time immemorial in various forms … in food, rituals and medicine.”

The mood is shifting in the country, where once the hippie trail terminated in the 1960s.

The Times reports that the final stop of the hippie trail was on Freak Street in Kathmandu, where a number of (smoke-filled) hippie bars and cafés were waiting for anyone who was interested.

This is not the first time cannabis became a hot topic in the country over the last few years.

Almost two years ago, a total of 46 MPs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party submitted a motion to parliament advocating for the legalisation of cannabis.

In a country where cannabis use has a long and deep history, prohibition hasn’t been very effective at curbing use, anyway.

While, legally, cannabis consumption is banned in Nepal, a lot of people cultivate the drug illicitly for religious purposes or sell it (export it) for the neighbouring black markets.

Campaigners want to see a change in policy as they claim more and more countries in the area are considering the legalisation of cannabis – some did it for medical reasons, others with the view of benefitting economically from the growing global industry.

Locals would reportedly support the reform to restore cannabis’ “status” in Nepal and help those in need.

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