Is Weed Legal in Nepal?

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Nepal is a landlocked nation bordered by two world superpowers, India and China. The country has long been synonymous with the nomadic explorer and hippie lifestyle, inclusive of cannabis. Although weed isn’t legal in Nepal, the country may very well become one of the first to fully legalize within Asia. Members of the current governing party have introduced amendments to legalize cannabis.

is weed legal in Nepal

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Nepal Looking to Legalize Cannabis

Cannabis was legal in Nepal up until 1973 and still remains a major cultural aspect.

In early 2020, a member of the ruling Nepal Communist Party put forward an amendment to make weed legal. One of the reasons cited was the huge economic advantages it could have for the country.

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Currently in Nepal, growing marijuana could lead to 3 years in jail, and a fine of 25,000 Nepali rupees ($214 USD at time of writing). Trafficking weed could result in up to 10 years in jail. Using cannabis in Nepal, although common, can still result in the user being jailed for a month.

If the proposed changes were made into law, households could grow up to six cannabis plants at home. The climate, excluding the north, is well suited to growing cannabis. Selling or gifting to minors under 21 or pregnant women would remain prohibited.

Nepal’s Hippie Stereotype

Nepal has long been a country that attracts the hippie explorer stereotype. Not only is the culture accommodating for this, but Nepal is home to 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world. The country’s capital, Kathmandu, also has a clothing and outdoor equipment brand named after it.

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Every year celebrations are held for the god Shiva, inclusive of cannabis offerings. Smoking weed during these celebrations is very common, with law enforcement often simply observing. This festival is held during Māgha, a month of the Hindu calendar. This year, Maha Shivaratri (Shiva festival) will be held on February 11th, 2021.

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Weed in India Explained

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