Kathmandu - A lawmaker from the ruling Nepal Communist Party has registered a bill in the country's parliamentary secretariat for legalizing the production, sales, medical use and scientific research of cannabis.
Nepal's Narcotics Drugs Control Act, 1976 has criminalized the sale, cultivation and consumption of cannabis in the Himalayan nation.
"The main reason behind registering the bill to legalize the cultivation and sales of cannabis is that it has proved to be a medicinal plant and it can also contribute to increasing income of Nepali farmers massively," Sher Bahadur Tamang, who is also a former Law Minister, told Xinhua news agency on Monday.
"An increasing number of countries have been legalizing its production and sales due to its benefits."
Tamang has registered the 'Cannabis Farming (Management) Act' as a private bill.
If passed by the both Houses of Parliament - House of Representatives and National Assembly, it will become a law.
The bill proposes that people who want to engage in farming, transportation, sales and exports, should obtain a license from the government authority.
"But, it will not be necessary to take permission to produce textile, feed and oil among others from its fibres and fruits," the bill states.
It has proposed an age limit for engaging in the farming of cannabis. "A person below 18 years cannot engage in cannabis farming."
The bill also says that the product can be sold to an individual as per the prescription of a doctor. "It cannot be sold to a person whose age is less than 21 years and to a pregnant woman." (IANS)