Diana Gamage proposes to grow cannabis as a crop to earn foreign exchange
Parliamentarian Diana Gamage today suggested the Government to legalise cannabis, then to cultivate it on state sponsorship asserting that it was a profitable industry to earn foreign exchange.
She told Parliament that tea could no longer be cultivated as a commercial cultivation as other countries such as China and Kenya had started to cultivate tea widely which has grabbed up the bulk of the market stake.
She said cannabis could be deemed as a industrial farming in Sri Lanka and could be used as a major export crop to receive foreign exchange adding that other countries were receiving huge income by trading it.
“Tea is no longer a commercial cultivation for Sri Lanka. We have been blessed with the cannabis plant by nature and God. It should be grown as a commercial cultivation with the state sponsorship. We can earn foreign exchange to pay off our loans within two or three years. We don’t have to go begging for money from the IMF or any other country,” she added.
The MP said the Government should eliminate the ordinance pioneered by the British in the 1800s with regard to cannabis and urged the Justice Minister to pass laws legalising cannabis in Sri Lanka.
She said according to the forecasts of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the global cannabis market share would increase by 1000% within the next decade and it would be US$ 140 billion by 2027, she said