Nepal, a country located 2,565 meters above the sea-level, has observed a wave of momentum on the cannabis reform scenario. All of it started earlier this year in January. The initiative was taken by Binodh Khatiwada. He is a lawmaker from the Communist Party of Nepal, currently the ruling party as well.
Binod Khatiwada filed a bill in the nation’s federal parliament and registered a motion of public importance around the parliament in favor of the legalization of cannabis. Khatiwada’s initiative was supported by 45 of his peers in the parliament.
Another major aspect of this notion was to introduce a ban on the import of foreign liquor/alcohol. The import of foreign liquor was already getting reduced because of the increase in the production of domestic alcohol.
Things took a completely new turn when a bill that demanded the government to open up cannabis cultivation in Nepal’s agricultural sector, was filed on March 2nd. This added a boost to the proposition of legalizing marijuana in Nepal.
The details on exactly how the mechanics of the cannabis legalization bill will be implemented are not clear yet. It is not clear if the bill is to legalize marijuana solely for recreational purposes. According to Mr. Khatiwada, the legalization of cannabis cultivation will help the poor farmers. Since numerous western countries have already lifted the prohibition, Nepal should end the ban too.
The proposal is surely going to be challenged and debated in Parliament before any existing laws are updated or changed. In the 1960s, the country was already famous for producing cannabis. It became illegal in Nepal with the Narcotic Drugs Control Act in 1976.
Under this act, the marijuana users are jailed for a month, while the traffickers are jailed up to 10 years. Even though it is illegal, it is freely smoked during the festival of Hindu god Shiva.