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Doctors call for law change on cannabis

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7054.384 (Published 17 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:384

Doctors in India have called on the government to review the 10 year old law that bans cannabis, on the grounds that it is not a public health problem and that it has medicinal uses. Last week a panel of experts at a national conference on cannabis in New Delhi urged the government to decriminalise the sale and possession of cannabis, allow commercial cultivation of Cannabis sativa, and promote research to explore medical uses of cannabinoids.

Cannabis has been used in India for centuries. It is an important ingredient in many traditional herbal medicines, and in some parts of the country it is socially acceptable for both men and women to consume cannabis during festive occasions. But India is a signatory to the 1961 Geneva convention on …

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