Cannabis cultivation kicks up a storm

30 Dec 2020  |   05:48am IST

Cannabis cultivation kicks up a storm

CM admits file to legalise cannabis cultivation in State for medicinal use exists; Proposal moved by the Health Department has been vetted by Law Department
Cannabis cultivation kicks up a storm

Team Herald


PANJIM: After several controversies this year, Goa Government appears to have kicked up a storm with the Health Department moving a file seeking to permit cannabis cultivation in the State for medicinal purpose.

In the last few months the Anti Narcotics Cell, Crime Branch and various other police stations have conducted several raids for illegal growing of cannabis in the State.

The proposal to this effect has been moved by the Health Department, headed by Minister Vishwajit Rane and has been vetted by Law Department.

Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant agreed that file has been moved by the Health Department but also said it does not mean a decision has been taken.

“No decision has been taken on the proposal moved by the Health Department. I do not think we will allow cannabis cultivation in the State,” Sawant told reporters here.

He admitted that a few States have already allowed cannabis cultivation for medicinal purpose but no decision is taken yet by his government.

“A file has been moved does not mean cannabis or marijuana has been allowed to be grown. The government will take an appropriate decision after looking into nitty-gritties,” he said.

Sources revealed that the Health Department wants cannabis to be grown for medicinal purposes and it will be purchased directly by the pharmaceutical companies.

Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.

The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.

Researchers are studying whether medical marijuana can help treat a number of conditions including: Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, cancer, Crohn’s disease, diseases effecting the immune system like HIV/AIDS or multiple sclerosis (MS), eating disorders such as anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, mental health conditions like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, nausea, pain, seizures, wasting syndrome (cachexia).

But it’s not yet proven to help many of these conditions, with a few exceptions, Bonn-Miller says.

“The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relate to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from MS,” Bonn-Miller says.

Cannabinoids — the active chemicals in medical marijuana — are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain.

Limited research suggests cannabinoids might reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation and relieve pain, control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, kill cancer cells and slow tumour growth, relax tight muscles in people with MS, stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS.

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