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“Go for 100 Days” – Can new CM make HP Govt dpts to work “Dil Se”?

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HP government who is who

He told the employees to join the new campaign titled “Go for 100 days, Dil Se” to complete the pending works and set their own targets and to implement the programmes of the government in letter and spirit.

Shimla: After romping into power in the State, the Bhartiya Janata Party’s Government in Himachal Pradesh is promising to fulfil all aspirations of the public, for which the new Chief Minister, Jairam Thakur, is after improving the work-culture in government institutes across the state.

His body language suggests he sincerely wishes to introduce austerity in the functioning of government departments and his ministers. BJP government will fix the lacklustre approach of the government employees, the Chief Minister said on Monday while launching a 15-days statewide campaign to clean the drinking water reservoirs.

CM Jairam Thakur's first meeting

To make the government departments and their employees work committedly is the biggest challenge for the Jairam-led government.  No doubt, there are exceptions and the government has honest and committed employees too. However, such employees are scarce.  

Moreover, now the State government should not face any conflict of interests as the BJP is in power in Centre and State.  The seat of Governor is already in the hands of the party. For the same reason, the BJP-led Shimla Municipal Corporation is expected to work smoothly without any deficiency of funds.  

Jairam Thakur iph drinking water

The CM Jairam Thakur in Sanjuali, Shimla, launching Swacchta Abhiyaan in Himachal

Administrative Re-Shuffle

In alignment with the usual tradition that every government follows after winning elections, the administrative re-shuffle is already in progress as favourite ones are receiving incentives.

So far, departments of 17 senior IAS officers, including six additional chief secretaries and five principal secretaries have been shuffled.

Take a look: 

Tarun Kapoor   ACS, Forest, Town and Country Planning, Urban Development and Housing
Nisha Singh ACS, Ayurveda with additional charge of Labour and Employment
Dr Shrikant Baldi   ACS, Finance and Planning with additional charge of Agriculture
Manisha Nanda  ACS-cum-Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister with additional charge of ACS, Environment, Science and Technology, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Information and Public Relations 
Sanjay Gupta  Technical Education, Transport and Youth Services and Sports
RD Dhiman Personnel, Power, Cooperation and Industry with additional charge of Chairman, HP State Electricity Board
Prabodh Saxena Principal Secretary, Home, Vigilance and Health and Family Welfare with additional charge of Social Justice and Empowerment
 Tarun Shridhar  ACS, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries
Onkar Chand Sharma Revenue, Food and Civil Supplies and Tribal Development
Arun Kumar Sharma Secretary, Education
R Selvam Excise and Taxation Commissioner 
Rajesh Sharma  Secretary to the Governor with additional charge of Director, Industry
Anil Kumar Khachi ACS, Public Works Department (PWD) with additional charge of Chairman, HP Sales Tax Tribunal
Jagdish Sharma Horticulture, Excise and Taxation,, Information Technology and Home and Vigilance
RN Batta  Registrar, Cooperative Societies
   

Like the previous governments, the BJP government has sworn to have zero-tolerance towards corruption even at the highest level and to work at the ground-zero level.

He also talked about reducing the current debt of about 45000 crores on the state with the support of the Centre.

He also targeted the inaugurations and foundation stone laying spree during the previous regime to take credit.

Our Government believes in doing work, getting the job done and not to publicize the same amongst the people for the sake of propagating,

he said.

The aforesaid statements came on Monday from the Chief Minister’s first meeting with the administrative secretaries and Head of Departments after taking over the charge as the Chief Minister.

He told the employees to join the new campaign titled “Go for 100 days, Dil Se” to complete the pending works and set their own targets. He wants the employees to implement the programmes of the government in letter and spirit.

Not just a routine work, but you have to think beyond that, you have to think ‘out of the box’ so that we all together can make Himachal a State for others to follow,

said the Chief Minister.

The BJP had been harping that the Congress government had sidelined the centrally sponsored schemes, and their work was going on at the snail’s pace. The Chief Minister also claimed that there was “no dearth of funds and projects from the Central Government during the last few years.”

The new Cabinet, in its first meeting, had fired re-employed retired officials and decreased the age limit for the old age pension from 80 years to 70.

On Monday, he launched a campaign to clean all the drinking water reservoirs in the state. It was launched from the largest water tank of Himachal situated in Sanjauli, Shimla. The water storage capacity of this tank is 90 lakh litres.

I assure that every kitchen and bathrooms will have water taps,

the Chief Minister assured.

He cut the fare for HRTC taxis to IGMC from earlier Rs. 20 to Rs. 10. He also assured construction of an over-bridge at Sanjauli to give the public a respite for the pedestrians from traffic chaos.

On the same occasion, Mahendar Singh Thakur, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, assured undertaking strict measures to mitigate water-borne diseases.

BJP MLA and the Education Minister, Suresh Bhardwaj, reminded the people that a body of a small boy was found in the water tank in Shimla.

The Mayor of Shimla, Kusum Sadret and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Shimla, CG.C. Negi along with Ward Councillors, and the Engineer-in-Chief IPH, Anil Bahri, also attended the meeting. 

Meanwhile, the cabinet ministers are also showing an activeness, which we hope isn’t ephemeral. Virender Kanwar Rural development, Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry Minister has also assured dealing with the stray cattle menace.

In one year, all stray cattle would be rehabilitated at farms or sent to animal shelters, he assured.

 

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Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Himachal’s Singham is back in Baddi – hub of drug and mining mafia

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sp-baddi-gaurav-singh

While he was posted in Baddi, he worked nearly 20 hours a day which included frequent, late night raids to get hold of liquor, drug and illegal mining mafia.

Shimla: His name had become a terror for the drug and mining mafias in the most notorious region of Himachal Pradesh – Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN). As we had mentioned in the previous story, the locals had begun to call this 2013 batch IPS officer Baddi’s Singham.

From Singham, you might imagine an angry young man, who publically beat up criminals and offenders single-handedly.

However, he is a gentle personality, an honest man, who works within the limits of power endowed to him and crack the whip against offenders through the legal ways.  He was born in a middle-class family of Agra on July 1, 1990. He is currently the youngest IPS to become an SP.

While he was posted in Baddi, he worked nearly 20 hours a day which included frequent, late night raids to get hold of liquor, drug and illegal mining mafia. Since he joined at Baddi in January 2016, he imposed record penalty of over Rs 25 lakh and filed about 176 FIRs.

However, as a great jolt to the locals and all law-abiding citizens, the State government let the IPS Gaurav Singh down by slapping transfer orders on his face in return of the honesty and dedication.

Gaurav was posted as the Assistant Superintendent Police, Baddi, in 2016 when he caught a tempo-truck for allegedly transporting quarry material. The officer slapped a challan worth Rs. 70,000 along with the seizure of two stone crushers and a JCB in the same case.

To the dismay of the officer, that truck and crushers belonged to a company owned by the wife of then Doon MLA, Ram Kumar.

The Doon MLA met the Chief Minister and got the IPS officer kicked out of BBN area like it was child’s play.

The locals had come out in support of the officer, and the RTI Association Solan and an Advocate, Rajiv Kaundal, had even filed a petition in the High Court of Himachal Pradesh hailing the decision of transfer as highly unconstitutional act by the Congress MLA – a complete misuse of power given to a representative to safeguard his wife.

Ram Kumar is the same ex-legislator who was accused of murdering the 24-year-old girl, Jyoti, his former employee in 2012. He had remained absconding for some time to evade the arrest, however, surrendered later. In 2014, as expected, he was given a clean-chit in the Jyoti murder case.

Then Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh failed to stand by the side of the people and transferred the officer without considering the long-term impact of such decision that would have gone all the way to discourage IPS and IAS cadre officer from discharging their duty.

Nevertheless, the officer continued to work dedicatedly in Kangra, where he was transferred. Later, he was promoted to the Rank of the SP, Lahaul Spiti.

The officer had again made headlines in July 2017 when he suspended about 18 policemen and four home-guards for unlawful extraction of money from tourist vehicles and trucks at the barriers in the district. The action came following a complaint from an officer of the Indian Army, who was asked to pay Rs. 200 as a bribe at two such barriers.

Now, the officer is back in Baddi after the newly formed government of the Bhartiya Janata Party re-shuffled 102 including officials of the HP Administrative Services, IPS, and IAS. Gaurav was appointed as the SP, Baddi.

It is a huge matter of worry for the mafias and criminals in general. Illegal quarry material including sand and gravel are transported from BBN to the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana for various realty projects. The illegal business includes a ridiculous amount of money. The BBN area is in a miserable state owing to the drug and mining mafias, and direly need the restoration of law and order.

However, it is to be seen whether the politicians let him sustain the same level of zeal that he had displayed previously or not. It would be no surprise to anyone if he is transferred again within next few months. After all, these mafias are patronized by the influential criminals having a political back-up.

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Industrial hemp can revolutionize Himachal’s economy, end war on drugs, says petition seeking legalization

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The genetically modified hemp will possess only .3 to 1 percent potency. Which means the psychoactive effect of the drug will be absent.  Apparently, these plants will be of no use to the drug users.

Shimla: These days, the debate over legalizing the cultivation of cannabis plants (hemp)in Himachal Pradesh has brought the attention of the people to the treasure nature has endowed them with – cannabis. Not because it gets you high but for the potential of revolutionizing the economy of the State, which is currently dependent mainly on apple production.

Don’t think this advocacy of cannabis legalisation is our own. All these facts are given in support of legalization in a petition filed by advocate Deven Khanna in the High Court of Himachal Pradesh. Mr. Shrawan Dogra is also the advocate for the petitioner.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel have also asked the State and Centre government to provide its response within four weeks.

What made us highlight the debate is that the petitioner has given a number of authentic references including medical journals, both national and international authoritative publications, government websites, judgments and various other articles and reports.

Further, there is already a provision to permit cultivation of industrial hemp.

Referring to the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the petitioner argues that the Indian law permits the mass cultivation of hemp for horticultural and industrial use. However, it was the government that has failed to avail it for the socio-economic growth of the farming community.

The Section 10 of the said Act bestows the state governments the power to decide the limits within which licenses can granted for its cultivation. Unfortunately, Himachal never used the provision, and did not formulate any regulation or rules to facilitate the medical or industrial use of the plant,

the petitioner Deshinder Khanna told Himachal Watcher.

The petition argues that the hemp grows in almost every part of the Hill State without any care that the other crops require. It does not even ask for much water. Hemp is a water-intensive crop as it requires 400 times less water than other crops and requires almost negligible herbicides, pesticides, manure, and protection from wild animals.

It offers a plethora of benefits. If it begins to grow on a part of the land, then you don’t have to take the pain to plough the field before sowing seeds. It grows rapidly as compared to other crops.

The commercial potential of hemp is unmatchable. If sold to industry, it can produce over 25,000 end products including health foods, organic body care, clothing, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and so on.

It offers 2/3 times more fibre than a crop of cotton. Fabric from hemp fibre is better than cotton and has eight times the tensile strength of cotton.

From the perspective of medical use, if sold to the medical and neurological research institutes, they can study and use it against fatal diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Medical marijuana treatment has become popular and accepted over the last few years in Israel, with about 15,000 registered users and 50 more approved each week.

Take a Look at List of Medical Benefits of Marijuana

Lung Function

A study published in Journal of the American Medical
Association on 11th January 2012, found that Tobacco
smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users
actually showed an increase in lung capacity.
 

Epileptic Seizures

A study published in Journal of Pharmacology and
Experimental Therapeutics on 03rd September 2003,
found that Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in
marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), control
seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for
controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
 

Dravet Syndrome

Effects: causes seizures and  severe developmental delays

The doctors who recommended this treatment say that
the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells
to quiet the excessive activity in the brain that causes
these seizures. As was also found by Dr. Sanjay Gupta
(US Citizen) during his research for CNN Special
Documentary “Weed”
 

Chemotherapy

Cancer patients being treated with chemo suffer from
painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can
cause additional health complications. Marijuana
can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain,
decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. As was
also found by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (US Citizen) during his
research for his CNN Special Documentary “Weed”
 

Alcoholism

Effects: Alcoholism involves disruptions in the endocannabinoid system.

Research in Harm Reduction Journal, 03rd December
2009, shows that some people use marijuana as a less
harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and
other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons
for patients to make that substitution are the less
adverse side effects from marijuana and the fact that it
is less likely to cause withdrawal problems
 

Cancer

1. CBD (Cannabidiol) may help prevent cancer from
spreading, researchers at California Pacific Medical
Center in San Francisco reported in 13th December
2012.
2. Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene
called Id-1, the study, published in the journal
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics on 05th September
2007, found. Cancer cells make more copies of this
gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them
spread through the body and;
3. Cancer cells in the lab that had high expression
levels of Id-1 and after treating them with
cannabidiol. After treatment the cells had decreased
Id-1 expression and were less aggressive spreaders
 

Alzheimer’s Disease

Effects: term loss of the ability to think and reason clearly affecting persons daily functioning

A study published by The National Center for
Biotechnology (USA) on 06th October 2008, found that
THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the  formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme
in the brain that makes them. These plaques are what
kill brain cells and cause Alzheimers.
 

Multiple Sclerosis

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association
Journal on 14th May 2012 when
Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis
patients with painful contractions in their muscles.
These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, but
after smoking marijuana for a few days they were in
less pain.
The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and
muscles to relieve pain. Other studies suggest that the
chemical also helps control the muscle spasms
 

Leeuwenhoek’s Disease

Effects: Causes non-stop spasming in the  abdominal muscles which are not only painful, but interfere with breathing and speaking

Smoking marijuana is able to calm the attacks almost
immediately, as it calms the muscles of the diaphragm.
As was also found by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (US Citizen)
during his research for his CNN Special Documentary
Weed
 

Hepatitis – C Infection

A October 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86 percent of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29 percent of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessens the treatments side effects. Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment’s effectiveness: 54 percent of Hep-C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8 percent of non smokers  

Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Effects: Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, severe internal cramps/muscle spasms in the region of the pelvis and weight loss. Anemia is the most prevalent extra-intestinal complication of inflammatory bowel disease.

Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Chaim Sheba Medical Center (Israel), stated the following in their January 2012 “Digestion” article, “Impact of
Cannabis Treatment on the Quality of Life, Weight, and
Clinical Disease Activity in Inflammatory Bowel
Disease Patients: A Pilot Prospective Study”:-
1. “In the present preliminary prospective study, we
have found that treatment with inhaled cannabis
improves quality of life in patients with longstanding
CD [Crohn’s disease] and UC
[ulcerative colitis]. Treatment was also shown to
cause a statistically significant rise in patients’
weight after 3 months of treatment, and
improvement in clinical disease activity index in
patients with CD.
2. Moreover, the data demonstrated a statistically
significant improvement in almost all aspects of
patients’ daily life. After 3 months’ treatment with
inhaled cannabis, patients stated an
improvement in their health status, their ability
to perform daily activities and their ability to
maintain social life. Patients reported a
statistically significant physical pain reduction
during treatment, as well as improvement in
mental distress…
3. None of our patients complained of any side
effect that disturbed their working ability. In fact,
as was shown in the results, there was a
statistically significant improvement in patients’
ability to work after treatment.”
 

Arthritis

The study conducted in 09th November 2005, funded by GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex (a cannabinoid medicine), found patients who had taken the CBM (cannabis-based medicine) had statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, quality of sleep, inflammation, and intensity of pain.  

Metabolism

A study published on 16th May 2013 in the American Journal of Medicine suggested that pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, even though they do end up eating more calories.  

Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus

Effects: The body starts attacking itself for some unknown reason.

A team of University of South Carolina researchers led
by Mitzi Nagarkatti, PrakashNagarkatti and Xiaoming
Yang found that chemicals in marijuana seem to have a
calming effect on the immune system, which may be how it helps deal with symptoms of Lupus. Their
research has been published online in the Journal of
Biological Chemistry and is dated 19th May 2014, and,
available on Science Daily, dated 02.06.2014.
 

Parkinson’s Disease

Research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. Particularly impressive was the improved fine motor skills among patients. The said finding can be found in the CNN Special Documentary “Weed”  

Post Traumatic  Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help
regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the
body and brain. The said finding can be found in the a
CNN Special Documentary “Weed” 
 

Brain Damage caused by Stroke

Research dated 03rd December 2013, from the
University of Nottingham shows that marijuana may
help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke, by
reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke — at
least in rats, mice, and monkeys.
This isn’t the only research that has shown
neuroprotective effects from cannabis. Some research
shows that the plant may help protect the brain after
other traumatic events, like concussions. 
 

Brain Damage caused by  Concussions andTrauma

A study dated 19th August 2013, in the journal Cerebral
Cortex showed that in mice, marijuana lessened the
bruising of the brain and helped with healing
mechanisms after a traumatic injury.
 

Brain Tumours

Specialists at St George’s, University of London,
studied the treatment of brain cancer tumours in the
laboratory and discovered that the most effective
treatment was to combine active chemical components
of the cannabis plant which are called cannabinoids.
The said research can be referred to on Science Daily is
dated 14th November 2014.
 

HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

 

 

Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers have discovered that marijuana-like chemicals trigger receptors on human immune cells that can directly inhibit a type of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
found in late-stage AIDS, according to new findings
published on 20th March 2012.
 

 

 

Hemp can save trees

Have you heard of Hemp Paper? Hemp cultivation can save lots of trees that we fell to manufacture paper. For instance, it can produce the same amount of paper in just one acre, which currently takes the sacrifice of trees in 2 to 4 acres of land.

Environmental Benefits

The present policy of burning the cannabis plant not only causes environmental pollution but also causes a great loss to the biodiversity and the eco-system. The plant has a great capacity to maintain the richness of the soil cover.

How cannabis helps fight cancer

As per the appeal made in the petition,  BioChemist Dennis Hill research reads

“In every cell, there is a family of interconvertible sphingolipids that specifically manage the life and death of that cell. This profile of factors is called the “Sphingolipid Rheostat.” If endogenous ceramide (a signalling metabolite of sphingosine-1-phosphate) is high, then cell death (apoptosis) is imminent. If ceramide is low, the cell is strong in its vitality.Very simply, when THC connects to the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptor site on the cancer cell, it causes an increase in ceramide synthesis which drives cell death” 

Can End Himachal’s War on Drugs

The State’s ‘war on drugs’ can also be ended by legalizing medical and industrial marijuana, the petitioner claims.

By keeping medical and industrial uses of Marijuana prohibited, the State has only allowed drug mafia to develop a parallel black economy and they are targeting children first. 

All that the government would have to do is to procure genetically modified species of cannabis which have far less content of the Tetra hydro cannabinol (THC) – content in the plant responsible for its psychotropic effect on smoking and providing such modified seeds to the farmers.  As compared to currently found marijuana which as a potency of 4 to 5 percent, the genetically modified hemp will possess only .3 to 1 percent potency. Which means the psychoactive effect of the drug will be absent.  

Apparently, these plants will be of no use to the drug users.

This way, the government can take control of the plant from the drug mafia and give it to our scientists, doctors, textile manufacturers and other relevant industries, said the petition.

The Commercial Potential

As per the well-researched petition, allowing regulated cultivation of hemp can lead to rapid economic growth and reduce unemployment in the rural areas.

The hemp has a potential to add more to State’s exchequer (as tax money) and substitute apple as the major cash crop. Legalization of medical and industrial use of Marijuana would make the state more progressive, reduce expenditure, said the petition.

With proper regulation, sensitization and awareness, the hemp cultivation can be used for industrial economic growth. It will lead to a rise in the growth of GDP.

Imposing a tax on selling of marijuana will anyway help in keeping a control over its production, and it would be a help to the State economy.

The petitioner said that according to the central government’s Ministry of Textiles, internationally, hemp production is estimated to be around 0.1 million tonnes annually.

Allowing Indian farmers to cultivate hemp will give them a stake in the $1.5 trillion hemp industry currently dominated by China, France and Germany.

Regularising the plant could create an industrial hemp textile market in India that could be valued at an estimated Rs 240 million.

The petition said such Marijuana in Netherland contributes about $3.2 billion with an annual gross

Further, the petitioner referred to the State government of Uttrakhand that has recently directed officials to facilitate the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp in the State to capitalize on its fibres. Meanwhile, the academic institutions have been asked to conduct research to ‘develop’ modified hemp species with only 0.3 to 1.5 percent THC content.

The neighbouring state of Himachal, Uttrakhand has already permitted regulated cultivation of hemp.

Some other facts about industrial hemp

 

  • The industrial hemp’s product hempcrete could be a greener alternative to concrete. The plant acts as a carbon store, absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). One square metre of a timber-framed, hemp-lime wall (weighing 120 kg), stores 35.5 kg of CO2. In contrast, about 198kg of CO2 is emitted to make one tonne of reinforced concrete.
  • Cannabis has 450 ingredients, of which 80 are chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The human brain has cannabinoid receptors, which control physiological processes such as appetite, pain, mood and memory, together called the endocannabinoid system. The cannabinoids from cannabis interact with the receptors in the brain and work as a smooth muscle relaxant and receptor blocker, alleviating pain, and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes,
  • Hemp Plastic-Hemp can also act as a good plastic substitute to produce products which are strong, durable and environment-friendly.
  • Biodiesel can be produced from the fibrous stalks  reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power
  • Cannabis oil is the most potent of three main cannabis products, which are the actual cannabis flower (marijuana), resin (hashish), and oil (cannabis oil). Cannabis oil is the most concentrated form of References to history the three main cannabis products. That is what makes cannabis oil the most potent.
  • The cannabis plant is being grown world over to reduce radiation effects in areas where nuclear disasters have happened because of its properties to soak up radiation.
  • The plant acts as a carbon store, absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)

 

Further, the petitioner said the rest of the world has already initiated the process of decriminalizing marijuana. In the United States of America, it’s legal with strict regulations in States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Bar & Bench Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.

Constitutional Context

The petitioner appeals that the “The Constitution Of India 1949” guarantees right to preserve cultural identity. In addition to it, India also has National Fiber Policy, 2010.  

Historical Background

  • The petitioner has also pleaded the court to dwell upon the cultivation and use of marijuana in historical context. It is one of the oldest crops used for cultivation. It was cultivated in China as early as 4000 BC.
  • Cannabis has a long history in India and dates back to as early as 2000 to 1400 B.C. The earliest mention of cannabis can be found in The Vedas or sacred Hindu texts.
  • According to The Vedas, cannabis is one of five sacred plants and a guardian angel lived in its leaves. The Vedas call cannabis a source of happiness, joy-giver, liberator that was compassionately given to humans to help us attain delight and lose fear, said the petition.
  • The Zend-Avesta, a sacred book of Zoroastrianism, used by the peoples of India dating back to 600 BC, talked about hemp’s intoxicating resin.
  • The Chinese emperor and herbalist, Chen-Nung wrote about hemp’s medicinal uses 5000 years ago.
  • In Great Britain, Hemp cultivation extensively started back in 800 A.D
  • During the 17th Century, American farmers were ordered to grow Indian hemp. The law also passed an order that a person could be sentenced if they weren’t growing hemp on their land. At that time, hemp was considered as a legal tender. Moreover, for more than 200 years, hemp was used as a currency to pay off their taxes. Rudolph Diesel created a famous engine in 1896.

The petition said this step can epitomise a wholesome, credible solution towards alleviating conditions of poor farmers and uplifting society by tracing the timeless benefits of Hemp to drive measurable social impact. The petitioner urged the State to take steps in providing a regulatory framework to facilitate cultivation of industrial hemp.

 

What Exactly the Petitioner Seeks from High Court  

Do not take the petition as a hope that it would mean decriminalization of smoking cannabis. On the behalf of the people living a poverty-ridden life in rural areas, who could not reach the court to avail already existing provisions due to lack of kaleidoscopic legalities associated with this sensitive topic, the petitioner seeks the directions of the court for removal of restrictions on growing only commercial and medicinal hemp.

First, the government should define industrial hemp (based on the percentage of THC) and authorize the cultivation and possession of industrial hemp by creating an advisory board or commission.

The petition also appeals to facilitate the cultivation, processing, and use of only industrial and medical hemp, so that the public could receive is commercial and medical benefits.

The petition seeks to authorize a state licensing or registration program for growers and seed breeders. The state departments should be allowed to collect funds for research programs, said the petition.  

The government can promote research and support development of markets for industrial and medical hemp.

The court can direct the government to collect important information on industrial and medicinal hemp to further make regulations/guidelines on easy access to open industries, scientific research labs, and institutes for Industrial and medicinal hemp use.

The Research Centre, Pant Universities, and agricultural industry should be directed to develop seeds having a THC level apt for industrial use. These seeds will be disseminated to the villagers. It will act as an effective measure to prevent the growth of cannabis having an illegally high THC content, said the petition.

Note: All the factual information published in the above story are taken from the petition filed in the High Court of Himachla Pradesh.

 

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BJP Govt decides to drop cases against BJP leaders and HPCA

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Cases against HPCA and HP BJP

In fact, decision (verdict) said the government will drop all such cases which the Chief Minister or BJP deems fit to be categorized as part of a ‘political vendetta’.

Shimla: The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, in a Cabinet meeting held at the Vidhan Sabha Complex in Dharamshala, announced the verdict on the FIRs and cases including five against the BJP leaders, the former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, his son Anurag Thakur, and about 18 functionaries of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.

It reminds of the amendment in the Uttar Pradesh Criminal Law (Composition of Offences and Abatement of Trials) Act. The amendment Bill was passed without any opposition from any party in December last year.

The first thing the Chief Minister Yogi did was to order cancellation of about 20,000 such cases including those filed against him terming them non-serious matters.

These non-serious cases against him and his creation ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’ were filed for alleged attempt to murder, rioting, carrying deadly weapons, defiling a place of worship, trespassing on a graveyard, and fueling enmity between religious groups.

Similarly, the Chief Minister, Jairam Thakur, said that the previous Congress government, as part of its political vendetta, had filed these cases to only target the leaders. In fact, decision (verdict) said the government will drop all such cases which the Chief Minister or BJP deems fit to be categorized as part of a ‘political vendetta’.

The Chief Minister did not explain on what basis the cases were termed as part of political vendetta.

Though it sounds undemocratic as the verdict came from the Chief Minister instead of the court, the opposition Congress or any other party have not reported any objection to it yet. At least, the investigation should have been completed.

In 2013, the Congress government had filed FIRs alleging cheating, fraud and misappropriation of funds, and land allocation for the construction of the stadium in Dharmashala. As per the cases, then-Chief Minister Dhumal had allegedly converted a registered society into a company.

The government had ordered an investigation related to the matter by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and State Vigilance Department.

In October 2017, the previous government had taken a decision to cancel the lease to the stadium and take over the property, which was set aside by the court following a petition from HPCA.   

The issue had become a huge controversy back then, but now the journey for the BJP leaders is likely to get smoother.

However, the BJP government would have to take the leaders of the opposition in confidence over common interests to avoid objections.

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