Sri Lanka has drawn up laws to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes which will be presented for Cabinet approval soon, Minister for Indigenous medicine Sisira Jayakody said.
“Canabis comes under the Ayurveda (Indigenous Medicine) Act,” Minister Jayakody told reporters. “It is a subject coming under the Department of Ayurveda.
“We have to handle this with discipline. We cannot allow it to be used for recreational purposes. But we can use cannabis and cannabis extracts for medicinal purposes.
“There is a large export demand also.”
“We have drawn up the legal provisions. In a few days we will present it to the cabinet.”
Cannabis was widely used in South Asia for centuries, though it caused concern among British civil servants in the Caribbean who had little knowledge of the plant, when Indian workers started working in plantations.
Canabis was included in 1925 Geneva International Convention on Narcotics Control and India at the time opposed it being included saying it was used since time immemorial and questioned the practicality of a prohibition being enforced.
However the British delegate signed the convention which was mostly concerns with opium. Geneva conventions were partly due US pressure.
US had one time prohibited alcohol triggering the birth of massive criminal mafias (bootleggers).In 1893, the Indian Hemp and Drugs Commission had already gone into the issue at the behest of UK activist and recommended that it be taxed rather than banned.
Many European countries have since legalized cannabis including for recreational use.