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As the Pot Boils in India, Luxembourg Joins These Nations in Legalising Marijuana Use

Luxembourg's government on Friday unveiled proposals to allow people to grow and use cannabis in their homes, a practice that is already legal in Spain. (File photo/AFP)

Luxembourg's government on Friday unveiled proposals to allow people to grow and use cannabis in their homes, a practice that is already legal in Spain. (File photo/AFP)

Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana's production, sale and consumption in December 2013.

Bollywood actor Ananya Panday appeared before the Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai for the second straight day on Friday and was questioned for nearly four hours in connection with her alleged WhatsApp chats with Aryan Khan, son of superstar Shah Rukh Khan, arrested in a drugs case, NCB sources told PTI.

Panday’s name allegedly surfaced in WhatsApp chats with Aryan Khan. Aryan, currently in jail, moved Bombay high court after a special court rejected his application for bail. The high court will hear his bail plea on October 26.

ALSO READ | NCB ‘Misinterpreting’ WhatsApp Chats to Implicate Me, Says Aryan Khan in Bail Plea

Earlier Aryan Khan’s counsel Amit Desai, while arguing for Shah Rukh Khan’s son’s bail plea on October 13, cited many verdicts related to the seizure of a small quantity of drugs and highlighted a few points regarding the motive of laws and some of the international practices. Desai said many countries has removed cannabis from the schedule of dangerous drugs.

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The Government of India enacted the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, or NDPS Act, to control addictive drugs and prohibit their possession, dispersion, sale, import, and trade in the country. A violation of the law could lead to imprisonment for six months and/or a fine of Rs 10,000. However, the law adds that consuming bhang is not illegal.

Cannabis is also used for medical purposes for pain management, treating post-chemo symptoms, arthritis, skin ailments, mental disorders and metabolical problems. Here is a list of countries that have legalized cannabis:

Canada

Canada is the second country in the world — and the first G7 nation — to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market in 2018. The act to legalize the recreational use of weed was first introduced on April 13, 2017, and was later passed in November. The Senate passage of the bill was the final hurdle in the process, a report in CNN said.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s government in October unveiled proposals to allow people to grow and use cannabis in their homes. Under the draft law, each household would be allowed to grow up to four plants, the ministers of the interior, health and justice told a press conference. Luxembourg will maintain the ban on public consumption of cannabis but will introduce a “lighter criminal procedure" limited to a fine of 145 euros if the amount involved is less than three grams.

South Africa

In South Africa, the Constitutional Court gave its landmark ruling allowing weed though the government had opposed its legalisation, arguing the drug was “harmful" to people’s health. The judgement ruled that it will not be a criminal offence for an adult to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption. However, it will remain illegal to use cannabis in public, and to sell and supply it.

ALSO READ | ‘Sent to Forensics, Then Burnt’: Here’s What Happens to Seized Drugs

Uruguay

Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana’s production, sale and consumption in December 2013. Cannabis consumers are allowed to buy a maximum of 40 grams each month from licensed pharmacies for people over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.

Netherlands

The Netherlands allows citizens to keep and cultivate some marijuana, and police let coffee shops sell marijuana as long as they don’t sell to minors, among other specific requirements. However, it is a criminal offence to possess, produce or deal in drugs.

Limited Use in Mexico

Though, marijuana consumption is still illegal in Mexico and its cultivation and sale, but, personal use of recreational marijuana in amounts of 5 grams or less was decriminalized in 2009.

Portugal

Portugal has decriminalised all drugs. In this European country, a person in permitted to carry up to 25 grams at a time.

ALSO READ | Jail Term, Fines Based On Amount Seized: All You Need To Know About Stringent NDPS Act

List of Countries Permitting for Medical Use

Countries including Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Colombia, Chile, Australia, Argentina, Barbados, Ecuador and Cyprus allows cannabis for medicinal use, a report in The Economic Times said.

Permissible in Some US States

Possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited by the federal law in the United States. A violation of the law attracts strict penalties including mandatory prison terms. However, as of now, 18 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of cannabis (marijuana) for adult recreational use. Some of the states include-Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and Montana among others. Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam have also legalized recreational use of cannabis.

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first published:October 23, 2021, 08:35 IST