Medicinal Plants Current Affairs

Canada legalises recreational use of marijuana nationwide

The Parliament of Canada has passed Cannabis Act (or Bill C-45), a landmark law that legalizes recreational use of marijuana (a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant intended for medical or recreational use) nationwide. It makes Canada the first G7 country to legalise the drug’s recreational use and the second to have a nationwide, legal marijuana market, after Uruguay (permitted in December 2013).

Key Facts

The law controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed and sold. It allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public, but minimum legal age to buy and consume the drug has been set federally at 18. It makes illegal to possess more than 30 grams of cannabis in public, grow more than four plants per household and to buy from unlicensed dealer. It provides stringent penalty of jail up to 14 years if someone caught selling drug to minor. With the passage of the bill, Canadians will be able to buy and consume marijuana legally as early as September 2018.


Marijuana is greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of Cannabis sativa – the hemp plant. Most people smoke marijuana, though it can also be used in other forms such as edibles, powders and oils. It used for controlling pain for medical issues, like cancer, nervous system diseases, glaucoma, migraines, etc and also used to treat nausea and improve appetites for people with HIV or other chronic illnesses.

Cannabis is banned in most countries but number countries have started decriminalising its use in recent years. It is legal for medicinal purposes in 14 European countries, Argentina, Israel, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panama, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the US, its medicinal use is allowed in 29 states and nine states have legalised both medical and personal use. Spain, Netherlands, Slovenia, Portugal, Jamaica, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Luxembourg are among countries that have relaxed legislation regarding personal use of Cannabis.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018


First Inter-Ministerial Committee on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for North East

The first meeting of Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) for North East Region (NER) is scheduled to be held in March 2018. It will be co-chaired by Secretaries of Ministry of Development of North-East Region (MDoNER) and AYUSH. It will comprise members from various Ministries, Departments and several organisations in relevant fields.

Key Facts

MDoNER will be coordinator for IMC of MAPs. IMC will suggest actionable measures for enhancing the livelihood and economic transformation based on cultivation and sustainable management of MAPs resource in North East Region.

IMC will review existing mechanism or institutional arrangements for management and development of MAPs resources of NER. It will identify gaps in existing mechanism or institutional arrangements, suggest policy intervention for optimally harnessing MAPs resources of NER and accelerate development of MAPs sector, suggest Plan of Action for dovetailing of schemes and programmes of concerned Ministries and Departments. It will also suggest actionable measures for enhancing livelihood and economic transformation based on cultivation and sustainable management of MAPs resource in NER.


IMC on MAPs was set up for North Eastern Region (NER) after meeting between Secretaries of DoNER and AYUSH.  It aims to create synergy in various programmes of Union Government to enable medicinal and aromatic plants sector become vibrant and develop resources to its potential.

Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (MAPs)

MAPs are botanical raw materials i.e. herbal drugs that are primarily used for therapeutic, aromatic and culinary purposes. They are mainly used as components of cosmetics, medicinal products, health foods and other natural health products. They are also starting materials for value-added processed natural ingredients such as essential oils, dry and liquid extracts and oleoresins.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018