MUMBAI: What began with five people in Mumbai talking about the medical uses of cannabis, or marijuana, three years ago, is now a 100-member group that is part of a worldwide movement working for its legalisation.
On December 17, members of the group walked 5km from Gateway of India to Chowpatty beach to get support for their cause. Another walk is scheduled on January 7. Two weeks ago, the Delhi-based founder of The Great Legalisation movement (GLM), Viki Vaurora, wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to legalise hemp — leaves that are the source of cannabis — for medicinal, industrial and recreational purposes.
Dhaval Panchal, an event manager from Mumbai, who is a member of the group, said he found out about the use of cannabis oil as a cancer medicine when his father had the disease. When his father was given a dose of the oil, he experienced less pain and could sleep better. “By the time I found out about it, it was too late because my father had already undergone 12 chemotherapy sessions…” said Panchal.
Akshay Shetty, another member, said the hardest task for them is to change the mindset. “There are doctors, too, who understand that cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes, but won’t let us speak about it in hospitals …” said Shetty.