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Posted at: Jun 8, 2018, 1:50 AM; last updated: Jun 8, 2018, 1:50 AM (IST)

Farmers tell govt to lift ban on cultivation of opium

Will launch drive for deregulation by sowing opium seeds
Farmers tell govt to lift ban on cultivation of opium
Patiala MP Dharamvir Gandhi addresses a rally at the grain market in Mandi Ahmedgarh. Tribune photo

Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 7

Farmers of the region have announced to launch coordinated movement get the ban on cultivation of opium and marijuana lifted by the government.

The announcement was made in response to call given by office- bearers and activists of Khushhal Kisan Welfare Society led by Punjab Manch leader and the Patiala MP, Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, during closing session of a rally held at the grain market here on Thursday.

Farmers led by Billu Majri and Dr Ranjit Singh demanded deregulation of cultivation of opiate plants on the occasion. Appreciating the enthusiasm shown by farmers towards ways and means of improving their economic status, Dr Gandhi claimed that diversification of crops from the wheat-paddy rotation to globally required medicinal and revitalising crops would leave no space for debts and waivers.

He alleged that successive governments in the state had imposed ban on the cultivation of opium as it would affect distillery and manufacture of synthetic opium substitutes.

“Unfortunately the successive governments have failed to comprehend that easy availability of opium and its husk will save consumers from fatal affects of synthetic products being used as psychotropic drugs,” said Dr Gandhi while maintaining that the natural opium was in great demand at the global level.

He lamented that wars launched by governments against drug addiction had been a complete failure. The DAPO programme started by the present Congress government was bound to be fruitless like the Opium Substitute Centre (OSC) scheme, which was launched by the then SAD government earlier.

Citing examples of regularisation of cultivation of marijuana by many advanced countries, Dr Gandhi called upon office-bearers and activists of various organisations to associate with the coordinated movement launched to impress upon the government to deregulate cultivation of the opium crop.

Later, responding to a query Dr Gandhi said activists would be sowing opium seeds as a symbolic violation of extant instructions simultaneously in various parts of the state.

“We want to see how many violators can be arrested by the government,” he added.

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