Hempvati is working on making it simpler for people in India to get their hands on industrial hemp and cannabis for medical purposes. They train farmers about how to cultivate hemp, provide counseling to patients who are using medicinal cannabis, offer business advice to corporations that deal with industrial hemp and are interested in entering the Indian and Asian markets, and do research on medical cannabis. The institution believes that the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes would be beneficial in many ways, with the exception, of course, of the large pharmaceutical companies, which would suffer financially as an increasing number of people turned to this traditional treatment. In India, the elimination of the illegal market for cannabis cultivation and distribution is another benefit that will result from legalization efforts.
The founder of ‘Hempvati,’ Priya Mishra, is India’s first female cannabis activist and lobbyist. Priya was diagnosed with lymph-node tuberculosis that was unresponsive to treatment. It was Cannabis that provided her with both relief and a cure. Following this, she began her quest of exploring cannabis components with medicinal properties. Thus began her battle to legalize cannabis in India.
Cannabis is an important element of Indian culture and has been blessed since the time of the Vedas, where it was counted as one of the five sacred plants and praised as a source of happiness. Even typical British efforts to criminalize a good thing were unsuccessful in India, and the country’s citizens continued to enjoy smoking in peace until 1985, when, after decades of pressure, the country decided to follow in the footsteps of the United States and pass the NDPS Act, which cracked down severely on all forms of recreational drug use.
Priya does not advocate for the consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes; but, she is adamant that the drug should be decriminalized for usage in at least certain medical and industrial sectors, and she bases this opinion solely on her own experiences. When she tried other treatments, but nothing seemed to help, she turned to marijuana, and it gave her relief like nothing else had before. People suffering from conditions as diverse as multiple sclerosis and cancer are turning to it as a safer alternative to the conventional opioids that are prescribed for pain treatment. Priya says, “For me personally, cannabis has been a lifesaver. My symptoms were much reduced after a period of four months.”
Priya says, “The popular opinion of cannabis is the greatest obstacle in the way of its legalization.” Negative impressions persist despite the fact that research conducted at Oxford and other highly regarded institutions has demonstrated that the plant has significant applications in the field of medicine, is not as addictive as narcotic drugs, and does not do as much damage. But the situation is not at all like that. Cannabis is utilized not only for recreational purposes but also in the medical and industrial sectors.
It is far past due for a change in the law and Hempvati is working hard to bring the change in the country where studies suggest every year, 7.2 million Indians use cannabis. The retail price of cannabis in India is $0.10 per gram, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, making it the cheapest in the world. As a result, India is a global hotspot for smokers. If cannabis were taxed legalized at the same rate as the most popularly consumed item, cigarettes, it will also contribute to economic growth due to its massive consumption and demand.
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