Imphal, February 22: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh told the state assembly Friday that his government was considering legalizing cannabis (ganja) plantation.
The Chief Minister was responding to a question on the legalisation of the cannabis plantation by opposition congress MLA Khumukcham Joykishan who represents Thangmeiband assembly constituency during the question and answer session of the ongoing assembly on Friday.
The main purpose of the legalisation will be solely for medicinal and industrial purposes besides earning revenue even if it was implemented in the state, Singh said.
The government, however, will not take any hasty decisions in this matter, and will carefully check the merits and demerits before coming to a conclusion, he said. The government is also studying the relevant reports from other states, the CM added.
On questions relating to action taken against poppy plantation, Biren Singh said that 1952 acres of illicit poppy cultivation in seven districts of the state were destroyed between September 2019 and February 16, 2020 jointly by the police and other agencies. Thirty two cases have also been registered in this connection, he said.
At the same time, the government is also planning to address the issue of illegal poppy plantation in the state by providing alternative livelihood to the needy villagers, he said and sought support and cooperation from the members of the legislative assembly.
Joykishan also urged the Chief Minister to also include those involved in selling local liquor too in the government program.
The CM had mooted the idea of legalising of cannabi plantation at a press conference in September last year for medicinal and industrial purposes and also to boost the state’s revenue.
He had then said that the state’s tax revenue has steeply increased from Rs 587 crore in 2016-17 to more than Rs 1000 crore in 2018-19. (Courtesy: HT)