Thursday, July 25, 2024
CivicsPublic Opinion

Legalizing Marijuana In Nepal: Pros And Cons

When considering the potential legalization of marijuana in Nepal, the focus frequently moves toward evaluating the potential benefits of such a move. So, what are the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana in Nepal?

The potential costs or disadvantages are also worth considering. While supporters of legalizing highlight the economic benefits, medical applications, and potential reduction in criminal activity, opponents note worries about public health, increased substance abuse, diminished cognitive function, and regulatory obstacles. Before making an informed decision that considers the well-being of the people as a whole, it is important to take a balanced approach and properly assess both the positive and negative elements of legalizing marijuana in Nepal.

Advantages Of Legalizing Marijuana

Nepal’s economy mainly depends on remittances sent by its youth workers working overseas, which helps sustain the country’s poor economic situation. Nepal should change its focus to sectors where it has a comparative advantage in order to improve its economic prospects.

Because of its production in local soil, cannabis stands out as a potential choice. Lifting the cannabis ban could allow many overseas workers who are currently facing difficulties abroad to return home and engage in commercial cannabis growing. This crop flourishes without extensive irrigation, making it appropriate for a variety of terrains, including disused hilly soils.

According to historical studies, such as James Fisher’s 1975 study, cannabis growing is common throughout Nepal’s elevations and terrains. This marijuana plant is everywhere from the Terai plains to the forests of the mountainous and Himalayan areas. Furthermore, studies also indicate that northwest Nepal has a different commercial cannabis production process, providing seeds, resin, and fibre from the same crop.


Hemant Malla, a former DIG who led the Nepal Police’s Drug Law Enforcement Unit (now the Narcotics Control Bureau), argues that the prospect for cash generation mainly drives the push for marijuana legalization through exports. However, he highlights that the issue of effective market regulation does not receive sufficient attention.

Using examples from nations that have legalized marijuana, Malla argues that success in combating smuggling depends on strong legal frameworks, severe regulatory measures, and competent state implementation of laws. He adds that preventing smugglers from entering is dependent on these variables.

Malla argues that the risk of recruiting international traffickers remains high until Nepal builds a strong governmental system. He also underlines the ongoing problem of significant quantities of marijuana smuggling out of Nepal.


Despite the benefits and drawbacks of legalizing marijuana in Nepal, the fiscal year’s budget (FY 2023/24) includes research on cannabis cultivation. However, more than just changing national laws is required; obeying international treaties must be met.

Advocates have been pushing for legalizing marijuana cultivation in Nepal, despite existing regulations. As part of the budget, the government intends to launch a feasibility study for medicinal cannabis production. In the past, the government has also initiated discussions on marijuana growing. This was triggered by a parliamentary bill concentrating on regulation, therapeutic properties, and economic possibilities.

The introduction of this bill drove arguments in Nepal over legalizing cannabis growing. The proposal’s inclusion in the budget got recent legislative support and acclaim from MPs. So, what do you think of the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana in Nepal?

Luzon Technologies

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