Meaning of Indian Hemp Drugs Commission

Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Means


This post explains about Indian Hemp Drugs Commission.

Indian Hemp Drug Commission

The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report, completed in 1894, was an Indo-British study of cannabis usage in India.

By 2 March 1893, the House of Commons of the United Kingdom was concerned with the effects of hemp drugs in the province of Bengal, India. The Government of India convened a seven-member commission to look into these questions, commencing their study on 3 July 1893. Lord Kimberley suggested modifying the scope of the investigation to be expanded to include all of India.

The report the Commission produced was at least 3,281 pages long, with testimony from almost 1,200 "doctors, coolies, yogis, fakirs, heads of lunatic asylums, bhang peasants, tax gatherers, smugglers, army officers, hemp dealers, ganja palace operators and the clergy." A sociological analysis of the report reveals that the commission's visits to asylums all over India helped to undermine the then prevailing belief that consumption of ganja causes insanity.

The Commission have now examined all the evidence before them regarding the effects attributed to hemp drugs. It will be well to summarize briefly the conclusions to which they come. It has been clearly established that the occasional use or hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal in character. It is rather to the popular and common use of the drugs that the Commission will now confine their attention. It is convenient to consider the effects separately as affecting the physical, mental, or moral nature.

Physical effects

In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncrasies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which may not possibly be injurious in cases of exceptional intolerance. There are also many cases where in tracts with a specially malarious climate, or in circumstances of hard work and exposure, the people attribute beneficial effects to the habitual moderate use of these drugs; and there is evidence to show that the popular impression may have some basis in fact. Speaking generally, the Commission are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind. The excessive use does cause injury. As in the case of other intoxicants, excessive use tends to weaken the constitution and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease. In respect to the particular diseases which according to a considerable number of witnesses should be associated directly with hemp drugs, it appears to be reasonably established that the excessive use of these drugs does not cause asthma; that it may indirectly cause dysentery by weakening the constitution as above indicated; and that it may cause bronchitis mainly through the action of the inhaled smoke on the bronchial tubes 

Mental effects

In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no injurious effects on the mind. It may indeed be accepted that in the case of specially marked neurotic diathesis, even the moderate use may produce mental injury. For the slightest mental stimulation or excitement may have that effect in such cases. But putting aside these quite exceptional cases, the moderate use of these drugs produces no mental injury. It is otherwise with the excessive use. Excessive use indicates and intensifies mental instability

Moral effects

In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, both indicates and intensifies moral weakness or depravity

Narcotic drugs 


The statutory control over narcotic drugs was being exercised under The Opium Act, 1852, The Opium Act, 1878 and The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930. The provisions of these enactments were found to be inadequate because of the passage of time and developments in the field of illicit drug traffic and drug abuse at national and intemational level. To consolidate and to amend the existing laws relating to narcotic drugs a comprehensive legislation was considered to be necessary. Accordingly the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Bill was introduced in the Parliament.


The statutory control over narcotic drugs is exercised in India through a number of Central and State enactments. The principal Central Acts, namelp the Opium Act, 1857, the Opium Act, 1878 and the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 were enacted a long time ago. With the passage of time and the developments in the field of illicit drug haffic and drug abuse at national and international level, many deficiencies in the existing laws have come to notice, some of which are indicated below:

(i)                 The scheme of penalties under the present Acts is not sufficiently deterrent to meet the challenge of well organized gangs of smugglers. The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of 3 years with or without fine and 4 years imprisonment with or without fine for repeat offences. Further, no minimum punishment is prescribed in the present laws, as a result of which drug traffickers have been sometimes let off by the courts with nominal punishment. The country has for the last few years been increasingly facing the problem of transit traffic of drugs coming mainly from some of our neighboring countries and destined mainly to Western countries.

(ii)               The existing_ Central laws do not provide for investing the officers of a number of important Central enforcement agencieilike Narcotics, Customs, Central Excise, etc., with the power of investisation of offences under the said laws.

(iii)             Since the enactment of the aforesaid three Central Acts a vast bodv of intemational law in the field of narcotics control has evolvei through various international trea ties and protocols. The Govemment of lndia has been a party to Lheie treaties and conventions which entail several obligations which are not covered or are only partly covered by the preient Acts.

(iv)             During recent years new drugs of addiction which have come to be known as psychotropic substances have appeared on the scene and posed serious problems to national govirnments. There is no 2 The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 comprehensive law lo enable exercise of control over psychotropic substances in India in the manner as envisaged in the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 to which India has also acceded'

2. In view of what has been stated above, there is an urgent need for the enactment of a comprehensive legislation on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances which, intrrr alln, should consolidate and amend the existing laws relating to narcotic dmgs, strengthen the existing controls over dent abuse, considerably enhance the penalties particularly for trafficking offences, make orovisions or exercising effective control over psychotropic substances and 'make provisions for the implementation of international conventions relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to which India has become a party'

3. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects

This post describes about Indian Hemp Drugs Commission.   Comment below your thoughts about this post Indian Hemp Drugs Commission.




Discussion Forum

You can also share your thoughts about this article.
Any one can answer on question posted by Readers