The Delhi High Court on the 26th of July dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a direction to the Central Government to allow the medical use of Cannabis and its allied products.
The petition has been filed by a law student, Prashant Sharma, had also sought necessary amendments in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, along with the introduction of proper policy, to allow the use of Cannabis and its allied products for medical purposes. The petitioner has claimed that there is strong evidence as per medical research of the benefits of Cannabis or cannabinoids in cases of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, anorexia and cachexia in HIV/AIDS, chronic, especially neuropathic pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.
The petitioner seek to invoke Article 21, and therefore, asserted that legalization of medical cannabis would be very helpful to the patients suffering from chronic disease or those have stopped showing any improvement to available treatment and medicines.
The matter was listed before a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar. The Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes could only be done by the legislature by either bringing a new enactment or amending the present law.
The Court also imposed costs of Rs. 10,000 on the petitioner. The amount shall be deposited towards the Delhi High Court Bar Association Library Fund.