Medicinal Plants Current Affairs - 2019
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Odisha’s Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) will soon get Geographical Indications (GI) tag. It is a few steps away from receiving this tag. Its registration was moved by Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing and was accepted under sub-section (1) of Section 13 of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. Kandhamal Haldi is famous for its healing properties. It is main cash crop of tribal people in Kandhamal. Apart from domestic use, it is also used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
Geographical Indication (GI)
GI tag is name or sign used on certain products which correspond to specific geographical location or origin. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods having special quality and established reputation. The purpose of GI tag enables stakeholders to authenticate their production while earning a premium and derive an improved livelihood.
The goods and products having tag are recognised for their origin, quality and reputation and gives it required edge in global market. It also ensures that none can use their name, giving them exclusivity. The registration of GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed. Violation of GI tags is punishable offence under law.
GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property. At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In India, GI tag Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 governs it. This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications and is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
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).
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.