Chandigarh’s Cannabis Conundrum: A Legal Tangle Over Lax Eradication Efforts

In a recent judicial rebuke, the Chandigarh Administration faced criticism for its ‘casual’ approach towards the removal of cannabis plants. The High Court’s dissatisfaction with the affidavit submitted by the administration highlights a significant lapse in addressing the wild growth of cannabis in the region.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court expressed its dissatisfaction with the Chandigarh Administration’s efforts to eradicate cannabis plants. The division bench of Justices Sanjeev Prakash Sharma and Sandeep Moudgil deemed the actions taken by the authorities as “unsatisfactory,” emphasizing the need for a more rigorous approach.

The court’s concern was not unfounded. Cannabis plants were reportedly growing in open areas, including those near the residences of judges and the Secretariat roundabout. The administration’s response, which included a status report from the executive engineer of the Horticulture Division, failed to convince the court of any substantial progress.

The Challenge of Controlling Cannabis Growth

Controlling the wild growth of cannabis poses a unique challenge for the administration. The plant’s hardy nature and ability to thrive in diverse conditions make it difficult to eliminate completely. Despite efforts by the Municipal Corporation to clean the affected areas, the recurrence of cannabis growth remains a persistent issue.

The court’s call for a dedicated team to address this problem reflects the gravity of the situation. It is not merely a matter of removing the plants but ensuring that they do not become a source for illegal drug activities. The administration’s approach must be proactive and preventive, rather than reactive.

A Call for Comprehensive Action

The High Court’s critique serves as a wake-up call for the Chandigarh Administration. It underscores the necessity for a well-coordinated and serious effort to combat the proliferation of cannabis. The court’s reference to the Drug Law Enforcement Field Officers’ Handbook suggests a need for adherence to established procedures for dealing with such plants, including their destruction to prevent misuse.

The administration’s future actions will be closely monitored, not only by the court but also by the community. The effectiveness of their strategy in uprooting the problem of cannabis growth will be a testament to their commitment to public safety and legal compliance.

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