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Citizen Files Petition In SHC For Legalising Sale Of Bhang

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HYDERABAD: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday heard a petition pleading for legalising the sale of bhang, an intoxicating herbal concoction made from cannabis leaves.

In this connection, the bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Mahar and Justice Irshad Ali Shah, has put the Sindh government and the secretaries of health and excise departments on notice for October 16.

The petitioner, namely Amanullah Soomro, pleaded before the court that he had started drinking bhang in 1970. “I used to buy bhang from shops, but now it is no longer available on a commercial level due to the government’s undeclared ban on it.”

He deplored that although the police have banned the sale of the intoxicant, liquor could be easily purchased from the market. Soomro further said that while bhang is being consumed in all provinces of Pakistan, its commercial sale has stopped.

Moreover, he claimed that bhang was sold at different shops in the urban and rural towns, as well as villages, of Sindh till 1977, and the excise department had issued licenses for its trade.

“After the war in Afghanistan during the martial law regime of Ziaul Haq, drugs like heroine, gradually replaced bhang while the government also imposed an unannounced ban on it,” he said.

Soomro contended that bhang is a cheaper and a natural intoxicant when compared to liquor. “A small sachet of bhang is sufficient for making one glass of the intoxicant, which can be sold for Rs10.”

The petitioner also told the court that bhang could be cultivated in large quantities in the country, adding that the plant was readily available in all areas of the federal capital.

Soomro prayed before the court to order the Sindh government to start issuing licenses to bhang shops as it would help the government collect more taxes.

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