The cultivation of cannabis can emerge as an election issue in the Kullu district. The area has gained notoriety for being a drugs hub, but successive governments have made little effort to help people cultivating cannabis to take up alternative crops.
The government has tried to provide a livelihood to people in remote villages of the district through MGNREGA but failed to help them take up alternative cash crops.
After winning the Assembly election in 2017, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur advocated legalizing cannabis cultivation in the state in a controlled manner to meet the demand of the pharmaceutical industry. Residents of the Kullu district have been demanding the legalization of cannabis cultivation for a long time.
The Chief Minister’s statement had raised the expectations of those involved in cannabis cultivation. However, the government could not make any progress in this direction.