Cannabis Sativa- Legalisation and impact

Cannabis, indigenous to central and south Asia, conjointly popular as marijuana and is intended for use as a psychoactive drug or medicine. Since 3rd millennium B.C., it is mostly used recreationally or as a medicinal drug. In some parts, it is also used as a part of a sacerdotal or ethereal liturgy. Usage of the drug has increased since 2013. In 2013 between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis i.e. equal to 2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 to 65. The legality of cannabis for personal and recreational use variegates from country to country. Possession of cannabis is contraband in most countries as a result of the agreement about Indian hemp, avowed as hashish in the International Opium Convention (1925).

Usage of the drug has increased since 2013. In 2013 between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis i.e. equal to 2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 to 65. The legality of cannabis for personal and recreational use variegates from country to country. Possession of cannabis is contraband in most countries as a result of the agreement about Indian hemp, avowed as hashish in the International Opium Convention (1925).

Some Canadian cities, some territories of Australia (possession of 50 pounds is legalised), Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Czech Republic, Spain, Uruguay, the Netherlands (it is semi-legalised), North Korea and some U.S. states have meanest prohibitive cannabis laws, while countries practicing forbidding cannabis laws are namely, China, Egypt, France, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The drug is most extensively at hand illicit drug and its use, the most rapidly increasing victimless crime. Legalising it would explicitly beget addicts, but the flip side of the coin is that legalising cannabis would be worth hundreds of millions. National income would receive significant boost if cannabis use was regulated in the same way as tobacco. Legalizing would not just generate high tax revenues but would also create many job opportunities. Also, limiting the demand for illicit drug by making a licit supply available from a legally regulated market- would create stability and place in drug producing nations. Cannabis

Cannabis possess rich medicinal value- it can kill cancer cells be it the flower or the oil. Epilepsy, along with pain from AIDS and nausea from chemotherapy as afflictions are also some medical problems that cannabis tend to alleviate. On could also add glaucoma, Crohn’s disease and muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, and a host of other conditions to those marijuana has effectively treated. Also, cannabis addiction stands at a lower rate when it comes to coffee addictions. Talking

Talking of its safety it is 114 times safer than alcohol, casual use by adults poses little or no risk for healthy people – its effects are mostly euphoric or mild, whereas alcohol turns some drinkers into barroom brawlers, domestic abusers or maniacs behind the wheel. Also, cannabis has never been directly linked to any serious disease, the way tobacco has with cancer or alcohol with cirrhosis. Even the lungs don’t seem to take much abuse from marijuana. Legalising cannabis would also in no way create a situation of crime epidemic. Further, it is a noticeable point that most people now think that cannabis is bad for health so legalising it would definitely not encourage youngsters to try it out. Legalising cannabis

Further, it is a noticeable point that most people now think that cannabis is bad for health so legalising it would definitely not encourage youngsters to try it out. Legalising cannabis would, in fact, recharge the economy, and if aided with certain limits not such a curse, whatsoever. It is not cannabis but the illegal market, with no standards, regulations or price controls that poses a menace to public health. Most federal

Most federal laws, treat cannabis as equivalent to cocaine and heroin-creating a truly unrealistic picture of the lawmakers on matters of drug policy. Legalisation with adequate regulation would also help combat teen marijuana use. The more one examines the evidence, the less it seems there is any reason at all for cannabis prohibition to remain in place.After all, legal substances can be controlled in ways illegal ones cannot.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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AISHWARYA HIMANSHU SINGH

Aishwarya Himanshu Singh is a final year law student. An aspiring researcher who has a deep love for writing. With her first publication at the age of 13, she believes a pen is mightier than the sword. Having authored more than 50 papers she is all set for the ‘writing for a change’ programme.

The Apetite Fight

In the year of 2015, there was a big controversy due to the sudden spurt of vigilantism in India; we decided to write about the issue of cow slaughtering, consumption, possession and transportation in India. Let me start this topic with a short story.

Teacher- ‘what is the most expensive thing in this country?’

Boy-‘beef’

Teacher- ‘why is that?’

Boy – ‘because it cost me my father’.

This was the story related to the case in Dadri district in UP where a man was lynched as he was consuming beef. There have been various other cases related to this issue such as when two Muslim women were thrashed by right-wing group on the suspicion of carrying beef at railway station in Madhya Pradesh or the flogging of a family of seven members belonging to Dalit family by gau rakshsaks in Gujarat. In the light of such eruption of cow vigilantism in India, we are taking a stress to learn about the laws of beef ban.

Cattle slaughter in India has always been a taboo subject as cows have always been given the traditional status as it is considered as one of the most respected creatures created by God in Hinduism. Article 48 of the Constitution of India mandates the state to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. On October 26, 2005, the Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgement upheld the constitutional validity of anti-cow slaughter laws enacted by different state governments in India.

Article 48 of the Indian Constitution says that- ‘The state shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps to preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.’

However, cows are routinely shipped to states with lower or no requirement for slaughter, even though it is illegal in most states to ship animals across state borders to be slaughtered. Many illegal slaughterhouses operate in large cities such as Chennai or Mumbai. As of 2004, there were 3,600 legal and 36,000 illegal slaughterhouses in India. Efforts to close them down have, so far, been largely unsuccessful. In 2013, the state of Andhra Pradesh estimated that there were 3,100 illegal and 6 licensed slaughter houses in the state. India produced 3.463 million metric tons of beef in 2012, of which 1.963 million metric tons was consumed domestically and 1.680 million metric tons was exported. India ranks 5th in the world in beef production, 7th in domestic consumption and 1st in exporting.

There is vast difference in between the states regarding the laws governing the cattle slaughter. For example, in Jharkhand, the guilty might face imprison up to 10 years or a fine of 10,000 rupees whereas in West Bengal there are no restrictions regarding the slaughtering of the cow.

According to the preamble of the Indian Constitution, India is a secular state where every man is to treat the same in the eyes of the society and law irrespective of his name. According to article 25 of our Indian Constitution , every man has a right to practice and propagate his/her own religion as long as it does not affect the morals and peace of the society and the act done on banning beef is in controversy with this article. Violence of gau rakshaks or many such instances has a long lasting effect on the society and has become the main reason for disturbances such as riots etc.

Thus, all these facts and such violence leads us to one decision, we as Indian citizens have to decide one thing, whether we want to live in a secular country where a man is lynched or dragged or beaten to death on the basis of what he is keeping in his fridge because that hurt someone’s sentiments or whether we want to live in a country where some people’s extreme religious practices leads to ruining lives.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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TANMAY SINHA

Tanmay Sinha is presently in his second semester in Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. He has always been interested in engaging himself in activities related to Law apart from academics, such as research papers, article writing etc. He has a passion for law and aims to excel in this field.

The Tyranny of Forced discipline

This article has been written by Raina Mahapatra. Raina is currently pursuing her undergraduate course from Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

The Indian Express I opened today looked up at me with a plethora of information and a particular article on the seventh page caught my eye, quite rightly so. “No beard, uniformity must in IAF”, it read.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that IAF personnel had no right to sport a beard on religious grounds, lest the ‘uniformity and discipline’ of the defence forces be hampered. Citing the power of the Parliament to determine the extent of restriction on fundamental rights among armed forces personnel as provided for in Article 33 of the Constitution, the apex court dismissed the appeal by Airmen Mohammed Zubair and Ansari Aaftab Ahmed. The appeal was put forward challenging the High Court’s dismissal of their plea for quashing the IAF order directing them to shave off their beards. The bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur and comprising of Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao held that the petitioners had failed to show that their case fell within the ambit of Regulation 425(b) which says “personnel whose religion prohibits the cutting of the hair or shaving of the face of its members will be permitted to grow hair or retain beard.”

According to the court, although India treats every religion equally, such an action is quintessential to a cohesive, disciplined and coordinated functioning of the armed forces.

And while some might find this unrelated, it brought into my mind’s questioning the SC Anthem Ruling that plunged into controversy not so long ago wherein the honorable Supreme Court once more demonstrated that cinema is a soft target for all concerns nationalistic. How is it, if our nation respects all religions, that there is a requirement to strip down one off his unique identity in order to instil a sense of ‘uniformity’ within him? Why does our nation require symmetry in physical appearance or an outward act of patriotism so badly?

Days after it forced the patriotic pill down our collective throats by making the playing of national anthem and standing to it mandatory before movie screenings in all cinema halls, 12 people were detained during the International Film Festival of Kerala for not rising and 8 people, who chose not to rise in opposition, got beaten up in a Chennai cinema hall by a mob of 20.

What needs to be understood is that most of these people who voluntarily choose not to obey such a rule are not doing it out their hatred or lack of love for their nation but as a necessary act of defiance against the compulsory thrusting of nationalism against their will.

Since when does our judiciary require positive acts on our behalf in order to be satisfied of the feeling of patriotism that rests in our heart? How is nationalism being forced down our throats as a compulsion the only manner in which the SC can finally be satisfied with our patriotism? How is the judiciary the only possible protector of our nationalistic feelings now? The questions never end.

Of all places, especially in a country wild about movies, cinema halls are visited by the people to take a break from their lived reality and blow off steam; for the Supreme Court to single out the largest mass entertainment venue for such mandatory “inculcation” reeks of a design to deepen the state’s coercive powers over us. The only ones it has empowered through this order are chest-thumping jingoists and aggressive elements. Literally bashing people who do not consent to be force-fed nationalism, physically and legally, can be pictured in totalitarian, big-brother regimes, but not in the country we call home. Yet it is being allowed to happen.

The Freedom to Speech and Expression being guaranteed by our constitution surely imbibes within itself the right to denial and positively express our intention against something that is being forced on us without any reason. And yet, the forced discipline.



 

The December book bucket

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My life, My choice: Legal aspects of suicide

This article has been written by Sarvesh P. Giri. Sarvesh is a Bachelor’s of Engg in Electronics and Telecommunication, 2015 batch from Mumbai University and pursuing LL.B. from Gopaldas Jhamatmal Advani Law College, Mumbai.

The life has been a natural and god’s essential gift to each and every individual on this Earth. The god has vested this right upon each and every individual to live this life and enjoy the same. In the archaic period people never had reasons to end their lived voluntarily and that death of an individual or a person was by natural reasons or due to any infirmity or ailment or disease, but with the evolvement of the society and technology, man found a couple of reasons to end its life voluntarily depriving itself of this natural gift.

SUICIDE: –

‘SUICIDE’ has no such particular definition in any of the legal book and that speaking in layman language it is voluntary end of one’s own life due to certain external factors. Suicide is the only act which is not penalized under any of the mandatory and obligatory provisions of Criminal Law primarily because of the reason of non-existence of the person committing the offence.

Henceforth, in case of failing of the act of committing suicide, the individual so survived is punished under the section 309 of Indian Penal Code that deals with attempt to commit suicide.

INTRODUCTION TO CONTROVERSY: –

As per the provisions of Art.21 of the Constitution of India every individual is vested with the right to life and personal liberty. But this act of committing suicide has been into controversy over a recent few time merely because of articulation of Art.21 in Constitution of India. Apart from Art.21 in Constitution of India there is an additional provision i.e. Section 309 IPC which criminalizes an attempt of this act.

Many mind bogglers consider such provisions to be inhuman whereas some consider it as a valid provision and as a mode to set example before the society but something has gone unnoticed i.e. correcting the mental stability of the offender.

In one of the cases of MARUTI SRIPATI DUBAL V/S STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, the Bombay High Court struck down S.309 of IPC as ultra vires to the Indian Constitution. In this case, it recognized the right to live as a positive as well as negative right. It recognized the right not to live as a right to live. The court further held that every individual is a sole master of his body alongwith his limbs and all organs of his body and its upto his discretion to perform as his will

However, a complete contradictory viewpoint was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of R. RATHIRAM V/S UNION OF INDIA, wherein the court held that the Section 309 of IPC was violative of Article 21 of Constitution of India. However, this controversy took 360 degrees turn in the case of GIAN KAUR V/S STATE OF PUNJAB when the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India consisting of 5 Judges overruled the decision passed in Rathiram’s Case and stated S.309 not to be violative of Art.14 or 21 of Indian Constitution.

Hence it is since the olden times that this controversy whether penalizing an individual making an attempt to commit suicide is a valid provision or the same stands ultra vires.

LEGAL CONSIDERATION TO THIS CONTROVERSY: –

Considering the provisions of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which mandates right to life but as was rightly upheld in the famous case of MANEKA GANDHI V/S UNION OF INDIA, that right to life is not merely confined to physical existence but a life with dignity. The question that the judiciary should consider the reason and the pain which coerces a person to adopt such a step.

Here are some of the reasons why one adopts such harsh steps to end one’s own precious life:

  1. Fear of failure in exams
  2. Continuous exposure to harsh treatment either by husband or by any of his relatives
  3. Poverty
  4. Unability to withstand the infirmity or disease
  5. Not being allowed or not being able to earn a living

It is these external factors which coerce an individual to adopt such steps. The judiciary has had a couple of judgments validating the provisions of S.309 of IPC at some point whether as held it unconstitutional at the other point.

The other question to be considered is whether in such circumstances, any individual or any prudence can live a healthy and a dignified life? The answer lies as NO, reason being the disturbances it creates in the mental vicinity of an individual

In the famous case of Gian Kaur, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India held that suicide is an unnatural termination or extinction of one’s life and incompatible with right to life.

SOCIAL ASPECT TO THE CONTROVERSY: –

Upon perusing the above circumstances leading to this controversy, it is evident that penalizing an offence caused due to mental instability of an individual would not be a human treatment. Instead the provision of Section 309 must be amended and such people should be subject to rigorous counselling so that they can have a different perception to the problem face by them because it is a matter of mere perception.

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The November book bucket

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Capital Punishment: A Bane or Boon

This article has been written by Divya Sharma. Divya is currently a student in National Law University, Assam.

Yesterday night when you read a judgement in which death penalty was awarded to the accused and the very next day you wake up with a thought like “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. Global figures are saying that more than two third (one hundred forty in numbers) of the countries worldwide have abolished capital punishment in law as well as in practice[1]. International trend is increasing towards its complete abolition but India still retains death penalty. What were those reasons which led to this never ending debate which is still recognized by the contemporary writers on this topic? The philosophical, humanitarian and moral arguments for or against the death penalty have remained remarkably unchanged since the beginning of the debate. Also, the question arises that what were those reasons which forced our members of the Constituent Assembly to hold the constitutional validity of the death penalty. So, the contemporary legal issue has become the subject of increased investigation, especially in recent years due to its idea of “an eye for an eye”.

Miscarriage of Justice: Abolitionist’s Perspective

People in favour of abolition equate death penalty with miscarriage of justice. According to them, provision of appealing to the Supreme Court of India is open for the wealthy ones only and the common people who have no source of income and wealth will not be able to avail themselves of it. For them the major concern is miscarriage of justice. If the goal of any punishment is to teach us those things we should not do, then the justice system should more adequately teach the criminality of killing by refusing to partake in it.[2]

Reality is by subjecting one to death penalty we cannot bring back the victim to life. By death sentence, the state portrays the idea of hate revenge and anger, which is not at all the best cure to fill in the gaps. There is a possibility that innocent people may be put to death. It is very much possible in the 21st century that someone can be wrongly hanged. Capital punishment can only be regarded as revenge not justice. On the one side, Government is trying to create a just and fare society and on the very other hand it allows to commit the same crime lawfully in the name of justice.

A Great Deterrence: Retentionist’s Perspective

Retentionists think death penalty as a great deterrent. For them if country wants a crime free society then it has to hold death penalty. There is no other punishment which can replace it. For them the right time has not come yet to abolish death penalty. The arguments of abolitionists that death penalty is not a real deterrent and is ineffective is based on a humanitarian which makes law weak. These ideas of humanitarian and moral grounds can be taken until n unless you are not suffered because of this. Neither the victim nor their related members can be taken their stand in favour of moral and humanitarian grounds to abolish death penalty. In this era, our judiciary has gone to such a level that there is no point to debate on any case of mistake. Day by day, Indian judiciary is touching the sky in providing justice to people. Abolitionists should not discuss about the irreversible nature of the death penalty. In this area we should always think about the victim who has suffered and not about that person’s rights who have violated someone else’s rights. Also, it is not wrong to say that it is much more economical than the other punishments. It removes unwanted people permanently. It cannot be ignored that if there is no punishment of death penalty then there will be a very good chance of increasing repeat offenders. As the present scenario stands, the law for death penalty is that it shall be given only in ‘rarest of rare’ cases. This concept of rarest of reduces the frequency of death penalty sentences.

A Critical Analysis

So, the debate on death penalty is never ending. If the person is victim and has suffered then definitely he will be in favour to retain capital punishment. And the person who has not gone through with such situations will talk about humanitarian and moral grounds. International trend is towards the abolition. But India should not be compared with the other countries. Our social and economic conditions are very much different as compared to that of other countries that have abolished it. The country has the need of this concept of rarest of rare. There are some exceptionally unwanted criminals who demand death penalty. Recently, the two very famous cases named, Mohd. Ajmal Amir Kasab v. State of Maharashtra[3][4] and State v. Mohd. Afzal And Ors.[5][6] .The quick succession of the two executions, as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling with regards to death penalty earlier this year has raised the awareness of controversy surrounding India’s penal system. The verdict of the Delhi rape case was announced recently. The judges awarded death sentence to the four accused and a 3 year imprisonment to the juvenile. This decision has reignited the debate on death penalty. All be given death,” the court said while reading out a portion of the order. So, in some cases this becomes mandatory to award death sentence. Also, the focus should be given to the victim compensation scheme. Victims or their family members have to be given rehabilitation, economic help.

[1] A/mnesty International, available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/04/death-penalty-2015-facts-and-figures/

[2] Areti Krishna Kumari, “DEATH PENALTY: NEW DIMENSIONS”, 1st ed. 2007, p. 34

[3] (2012) 9 SCC 1

[4] Convicted of involvement in the 2008 Mumbai gun attack was hung 21st November 2012.

[5] 2003 VIIAD Delhi 1

[6] convicted of plotting the 2001 attack on India’s Parliament was executed in February 2013

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The November book bucket

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Educational Qualification as a basic criterion for Election

This article has been written by Mohini Singla. Mohini is currently a student in Army Institute of Law, Mohali.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

In India, it is the need of the hour to introduce educational qualification to be set as criteria for the elections of Members of Parliament. The eligibility criteria for contesting MP election by providing that a candidate must have passed class 10 of the board of secondary education or its equivalent. This condition to contest election is not arbitrary in nature and thus does not affect anyone’s right to contest elections. This criterion is to be set initially only for Members of Parliament as they are the principal law-makers of the state so a state needs intelligent administrators to run its government. It is not arbitrary as Article 14 is not affected as there is reasonable classification. As Right to contest election is merely a statutory right and not fundamental right.

RECOMMENDATION

  1. It should be started with the Members of Parliament as it could not be started from ground level, as due to still prevailing illiteracy in the country. But for election of such high standard officials this criteria could easily be implemented in the country. This criterion should then slowly be formed basis of election in every sphere and a minimum level should be set up for every general election taking place in the
  2. It will motivate people at all levels to get educated as it will act as a reformative measure. Everyone in the country will try and get education and especially people who want to get into politics will get educated first. Education enhances a person’s ethics and civilizes a person as well. A civilized society fastly moves towards development. Hence this will lead to easy development of the nation. It will act as a reform and will act as a stimulator for people to get them educated first and then enter into
  3. It should initially be set at matriculation level as somewhere the bench mark has to be set and anything lower to this will lead to complete ineffectiveness of the programme and anything higher to such is not possible to be achieved at such a level. As India still faces a lot of problem of illiteracy which could not be instantly sorted. It has been a issue for decades but such a reform will help people and motivate them to act for the
  4. This Criterion should then slowly be added to all other election procedures. All elections if have such qualification criteria would enhance the education standards of the State. This will lead to growth and prosperity of the nation and will help in building better future for
  5. This qualification if added would enhance the quality education as there is a lot of problem of proper education system to be developed this will fulfill this requirement. As politicians are the ones who frame new policies, they will take special care for educational

Indian government would look into education systems and make sure these inconveniences are covered up sufficiently. On the other hand, we can find people who are serious in their thoughts to fill in these issues and promote the quality of each educational institution. We can find the growing number of Computer study centres, students’ labs, tutorial institutes etc. that makes education in India move on faster. And this will lead to quality education in the country and would render some new changes to the education system that is required in the present scenario.