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Want to get high? Move abroad, says Karachi court

Pro-hashish petitioner wants up to 10g decriminalised

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 6, 2020 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Posted: Nov 6, 2020 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Want to get high? Move abroad, says Karachi court

The petitioner wanted up to 10g made legal. Photo: File

A man in Karachi has taken a page out of Oregon’s playbook to ask a court to make smoking up to 10g of hashish legal. On Tuesday, the US state became the first to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

The pro-hashish Ghulam Asghar said that he was making the appeal in public interest. He argued that decent people use hashish but the police trouble them. He also wanted the fine on possession of up 10g of hashish abolished.

He named the federal government and Ministry of Law and Justice respondents.

When Asghar told the judge smoking hashish was legal in many countries, the court asked him to move there. It is not allowed in Pakistan, it said.

Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar asked Asghar why he had come with such a request. “Do you want everyone in the country to start smoking hash?”
Asghar replied that it would help increase the country’s revenue. He did not mention this in court perhaps but up to $25 million can be the turnover annually if hashish is legalized. If you take it at $30 per 50g street price. Karachi consumes 42 tons of marijuana/cannabis, the second highest globally. This information was shared on Twitter by @Rogueconomist Ammar Khan from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  

We don’t want such income, replied Justice Mazhar. There are other legal ways to increase revenue.

The court rejected the application.

In September the cabinet approved Pakistan’s first license for hemp. The plans are to import a variety of cannabis. The global market for CBD oil from hemp is $25 billion and Pakistan could make up to $1 billion in the next three years, the minister for science and technology had said.

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