November 22, 2019: The Madhya Pradesh government, led by Congress, has announced its decision to allow cultivation of cannabis in the state.
According to state legal affairs minister PC Sharma, the cultivation of cannabis will be legalised in the state. However, it cannot be used for commercial purposes. Instead, the cultivated cannabis can only be used for medicinal or industrial purposes.
The minister claimed that this will cause businesses to thrive in Madhya Pradesh; ANI reports that the cannabis will be used mainly to make medicines for cancer and other terminal ailments.
In 2017, Uttarakhand became the first state in India to legalise the growth of cannabis, albeit for medicinal and industrial purposes only. Following that, Himachal Pradesh also considered doing the same. The move in Madhya Pradesh has reportedly been met with mixed reactions from opposition parties. According to ANI, BJP leader Rameshwar Sharma has stated that this could have adverse consequences as more and more people could succumb to addiction.