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Activists seek legal marijuana in former hippie haven Nepal – NewsNation Now

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A customer smokes marijuana at “Hippie Hill,” a retreat within the mountains surrounding Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. Broadly accessible marijuana as soon as drew 1000’s of hippies to Nepal, the place its use was not solely accepted however embedded in each the tradition and faith.However the nation adopted different nations in outlawing marijuana within the late Seventies and chased away the hippies who got here on buses from Europe and United States. Half a century later, campaigners are searching for to once more legalize the farming, use and export of marijuana as extra international locations enable its medicinal and leisure use. (AP Photograph/Niranjan Shrestha)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Broadly accessible marijuana as soon as drew 1000’s of hippies to Nepal, the place its use was not solely accepted however embedded in each the tradition and faith.

However the nation adopted different nations in outlawing marijuana within the late Seventies and chased away the hippies who got here on buses from Europe and United States.

Half a century later, campaigners are searching for to once more legalize the farming, use and export of marijuana as extra international locations enable its medicinal and leisure use.

Supporters have launched a invoice in Parliament that might legalize marijuana, though debate has been delayed by persevering with squabbles between political events for energy.

“We’re demanding the legalization of marijuana in Nepal firstly for medicinal functions for sufferers who’re dying,” Rajiv Kafle, a marketing campaign chief, stated at his “Hippie Hill” retreat within the mountains surrounding the capital, Kathmandu.

Kafle, who lives with HIV, stated marijuana helped him deal with ache and stored him away from alcohol and different medicine.

Marijuana use is broadly accepted in Nepal. It was freely farmed and attracted Western hippies within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. Nonetheless, stress from Western governments made Nepal introduce legal guidelines making marijuana and different narcotics unlawful.

Some portraits of probably the most revered Hindu god, Shiva, present him smoking marijuana. Devotees and Hindu holy males are sometimes seen smoking in temples.

Marijuana vegetation typically develop wild in villages, however police typically destroy vegetation grown on farms on the market.

It isn’t troublesome to purchase marijuana in cities, the place there are millions of customers.

“You’ll be able to see everybody smoking in Nepal from younger children to outdated individuals,” stated Polish vacationer Lukasz Walendziak.

Kafle and a coworker at his retreat had been detained final month by police and launched on bail however face narcotic distribution prices.

Beneath the regulation, anybody possessing marijuana for private use might be jailed for a month, however distribution and gross sales are punishable by as much as 10 years’ imprisonment relying on the quantity of marijuana seized.

Kafle stated legalization of marijuana may benefit the nation’s financial system by attracting vacationers, including that it was the arrival of hippies that introduced vacationers to Nepal.

“With our low price of manufacturing and the aggressive edge we’ve within the international marketplace for hashish, we certainly are going to win and that is going to vary the nation,” he stated.

The campaigners have satisfied some politicians of the advantages of legalizing marijuana.

Well being minister Birod Khatiwada, a robust member of the governing coalition, has been lobbying for the proposed invoice and has registered for debate in Parliament on the difficulty. He stated about 9,000 persons are at the moment in jail on marijuana-related prices.

“I’m attempting to make it a marketing campaign and subject in Parliament as a result of many international locations together with probably the most highly effective and developed international locations have allowed using marijuana,” Khatiwada stated.

“The brand new regulation would insure that the profit just isn’t going to go to 1 industrialist or small group of businesspeople however quite it is going to profit the poor farmers who would use their small plots of land to develop it,” he stated.

https://www.newsnationnow.com/well being/health-headlines/activists-seek-legal-marijuana-in-former-hippie-haven-nepal/ | Activists search authorized marijuana in former hippie haven Nepal – NewsNation Now

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