Tripura CM to seek experts' opinion on legalising cannabis cultivation in state
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday said that he would ask experts to explore the possibility of legalising cannabis cultivation in the state to boost the rural economy.
Deb was responding to BJP MLA Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl's proposal to legalise cannabis cultivation in the state, during the ongoing budget session of the Tripura Legislative Assembly on Monday.
Hrangkhawl said that cannabis has medicinal value, adding that legal recognition of cannabis cultivation will increase the income of the state. "The village economy will be better. Moreover, cannabis cultivation has been given legal recognition in several states of the country," the MLA said.
He asked, if country liquor and foreign liquor can be recognised, then why can't cannabis?
"Cannabis is being sold in Tripura's black market every day. Despite the government's strictures, it has not stopped," he added.
Tripura Police have been conducting raids on cannabis cultivation in the state frequently and, almost every day, there are reports of cannabis being confiscated from different parts of the state.
In his response, the CM said that cannabis cultivation is illegal in Tripura.
"But cannabis cultivation has indeed given a good income," he added.
Ironically, the state government has accepted a slogan, 'drugs free Tripura'.
Deb, however, stated that the government is encouraging the farmers to cultivate dragon fruit, pineapple and maize.
"The government wants to use these three as alternatives to cannabis," Deb said.
In response, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl said that a lot of capital is needed to cultivate dragon fruit. "Now people are losing interest in pineapple cultivation," he said.
Admitted that a lot of capital is needed to cultivate dragon fruit, the Chief Minister said that the government has taken initiatives to enable the cultivation of dragon fruit through MNGREGA.
(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)