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  • 02 September, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act 1985

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985

Image Source - Ipleaders

  • Recently, the Karnataka High Court ruled that the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 neither mentions bhang as a forbidden substance nor drink.
  • In two earlier rulings, Madhukar v. the State of Maharashtra (2002) and Arjun Singh v. the State of Haryana (2004), the courts determined that bhang is not ganja and is not consequently covered by the NDPS Act. The court cited these rulings in its reasoning.
  • Earlier, Thailand allowed the cultivation and possession of marijuana, but smoking it for recreational purposes is still prohibited.


  • Cannabis plant leaves are used to make the edible concoction known as bhang.
  • It frequently appears in a variety of meals as well as beverages like thandai and lassi.
  • Bhang has been a popular drug on the Indian subcontinent for millennia, especially around the festivals of Mahashivratri and Holi.

Marijuana and cannabis

  • Cannabis and marijuana are interchangeably referred to as one and the same item, and there is no distinction between the two.

Medical objectives:

  • It may have a pleasing impact and ease the signs of a number of ailments, including chronic pain.
  • Cannabis cannabinoids function by attaching to particular locations on the nerves and in the brain.
  • For the management of pain as well as the treatment of post-chemotherapy symptoms, arthritis, skin conditions, mental health issues, and metabolic issues.
  • Additionally, it is used to treat migraines, nausea, and vomiting, although there isn't any solid scientific data to back up this use.

It appears to have effects on brain regions in charge of:

  • Attention and recall
  • Equilibrium, alignment, and coordination
  • Response time
  • A neurotransmitter associated with pleasure is dopamine.
  • It may influence sensory perception as well.
  • Brighter colours, more vivid sounds, and deeper emotions might all be perceived.

Immune response:

  • Regular cannabis use may have an impact on immunity.
  • ovarian cancer: According to a study, taking cannabis more than 50 times over the course of a lifetime may make testicular cancer more likely.
  • Addiction: 9% of people may get addicted. When a person can't quit taking a substance, they have an addiction.

NDPS Act and legislations on Bhang

  • The NDPS Act, which was passed in 1985, is the primary piece of legislation that addresses drug use and trafficking.
  • A number of the Act's sections make it illegal to produce, manufacture, sell, possess, consume, buy, transport, or use illegal narcotics for anything other than medical or scientific purposes.
  • Cannabis: Based on the elements of the plant that fall under its jurisdiction, the NDPS Act classifies cannabis (hemp) as a narcotic drug.

The Act names the following components:

  • Charas, "the separated resin" includes both concentrated preparations and resin known as hashish oil or liquid hashish that are acquired from the cannabis plant in any form, whether crude or purified.
  • Ganja is defined as "the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant, by whatever name they are known or recognised, omitting the seeds and leaves when they are not accompanied by the tops.
  • Any blend of any of the aforementioned types of cannabis, with or without any neutral element, or any beverage made therefrom.

Absences from the Act:

  • Seeds and leaves are not included in the definition of the Act when not accompanied by the tops.
  • The NDPS Act makes no mention of bhang, which is a drug derived from the plant's leaves.
  • The government may permit the growth of any cannabis plant for industrial purposes exclusively of extracting fibre or seed or for horticultural reasons," according to a "special clause" of the Act.

Cannabis and Criminal Liability

Section 20 of the NDPS Act

  • It outlines the penalties for the Act's defined acts of cannabis production, manufacture, sale, purchase, import, and interstate export.

  • Based on the number of narcotics seized, the appropriate sentence is determined.

Penal Provisions

  • A minor infraction (100 g of charas/hashish or 1 kilogramme of ganja) will result in strict imprisonment for a term that may not exceed one year and/or a fine that may not exceed Rs 10,000.
  • For a commercial quantity: For a commercial quantity (1 kg of charas/hashish or 20 kg of marijuana), strict imprisonment for at least 10 years, with the possibility of an additional 20 years, as well as a fine of at least Rs. 1,000,000 but up to Rs. 2,000,000.
  • Quantity less than commercial, but greater than small quantity:
  • Where the contravention involves a quantity less than commercial but greater than a small quantity, rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years is prescribed, along with a fine which may extend to Rs 1,00,000.

What is the State of Crime under the NDPS Act?

  • According to the most recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2021, Punjab has the highest crime rate.
  • Punjab has the highest crime rate in the nation in 2021, at 32.8%.
  • After Arunachal Pradesh, which recorded a 17.2% NDPS Act crime rate, and Kerala (16%), Himachal Pradesh came in second with a crime rate of 20.8%.
  • The states of Gujarat (0.7%) and Bihar (1.2%) had the next-lowest crime rates under the NDPS Act in 2021, which were recorded from the UTs of Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (0.5%).

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

  • Ministry: The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, is responsible for NCB, which is the country's main law enforcement and intelligence organisation.
  • Task and Authority: In accordance with the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the agency is charged with combatting drug trafficking and the use of illegal substances.
  • It has the authority to file charges against people in situations involving the illicit use and distribution of narcotics.
  • International treaties: India has ratified a number of UN conventions relating to drugs, and the NCB is responsible for putting these conventions' provisions into effect.
  • Officials: In addition to directly hired members, this organisation also draws officers from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service, and Paramilitary formations.

Also, Read - Muslim Personal Law Case

Source: The Indian Express

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