Bill On Marijuana To Parliament
By Indika Sri Aravinda
Minister of Indigenous Medicine Salinda Dissanayake says he will submit a Bill to Parliament soon which will seek the removal of the ban on marijuana.
Dissanayake told The Sunday Leader that marijuana remains banned in Sri Lanka as it is being misused.
However he noted that marijuana can serve as medicine and so the ban needs to be lifted. The Minister said that research had revealed that marijuana can also be used to weave material.
He said that the Ayurveda Act will also be amended in order to highlight the important medicinal value of marijuana.
The Minister said that a committee has already been formed to make proposals to amend the Ayurveda Act.
Dissanayake said that if the ban is lifted, laws will then be in place to ensure marijuana is grown only by doctors.
He also said that the Ayurveda Commissioner will be authorised to monitor marijuana grown for medicinal purposes.
The Minister noted that if marijuana is used properly it can be exported to other countries as a pain reliever.
The move to legalise marijuana comes after Uruguay became the first country in the world recently to legalise the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana.
2008, the then Minister of Indigenous Medicine, Tissa Karaliyadda had also sought permission for marijuana to be grown in some areas for use as medicine.