Marijuana, also known as Cannabies. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), it is a type of drug. Cannabis term denotes several psychoactive preparations of the plant Cannabis sativa[1]. Cannabis abuse has grown rapidly. Just like other drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc., which are abused, marijuana is nowadays abused to a great extent. This means that the number of Cannabis consumers is higher than other drugs. This drug is beneficial for medication purposes and is found to cure numerous diseases, but people are found to use it for recreation and are found to abuse it. Excess of everything is bad so is the case with this drug. It poses many health effects to humans that, in turn, affect their daily lives. The abuse or addiction to this drug can be seen in their behavior. It is prevalent worldwide, and states have made their efforts through making legislation, etc. curb the evils caused by the abuse of these drugs. It not only impacts one’s health but has a significant effect on driving, as when a person is under the influence of this drug, driving becomes difficult for them, ultimately resulting in accidents. So, driving under the influence of this drug is considered an offense in India and results in fines, imprisonment, and suspension of driving privileges like licenses, etc. Driving under the influence laws are not just for alcohol but include other drugs, which are dangerous and illegal. Marijuana can impair driving as a person gets under its influence when it starts to control or regulate some of the activity in our body, like it slowing down our reaction time, impairing coordination, distorting perception etc.[2]. Hence, it causes crashes because it is the illicit drug found in most drivers’ blood. One instance of this is the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, report in 2017  which found increase in a number of crashes that took place after the use of this d-0rug or driving under its influence[3]. There is a plethora of research that has found a link between the use of cannabis and highway crashes. Another instance  According to an NHTSA study, it was found that there has been an increase in the number of drivers under the influence of Marijuana because of the psychological effect that is carried along with the chemical responsible for the impact of marijuana.

Legislations dealing with this-

  • Legislation concerning marijuana varies from country to country as it is legalized in some while it is illegal in some countries.  There are three thoughts towards this; one thought comes from supporters who claim that marijuana isn’t illegal but rather must be legal because of the plethora of perks it carries, like lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, being useful in treating some of the  disorders including that of anxiety etc, it is even less harmful than alcohol [4] and most importantly it fights cancer. For instance,  An organization called Great Legalization Movement India wanted to make the use of cannabis legal for medicinal and industrial purpose .[5]. Another instance, where it has been supported In 2019, a petition  made by the Great Legalization Movement India Trust was listened by Delhi high court. The organization challenged the ban on cannabis stating that the NDPS Act’s restrictions are arbitrary, unscientific, and unreasonable [6].Overall,  it is beneficial for medication as it helps or acts as a catalyst in the prevention of big diseases and therefore is essential for society but in the context of usage of this drug while driving is ignored. Another thought is of those who are against the use of this drug. They focus on the disadvantages it possesses like, it affects vision, also affects people psychologically by controlling the human system, and negatively affects particularly while driving under its influence. It has other effects as well, like respiratory issues, dizziness, and migraines, most importantly it creates dependency. while many individuals see marijuana as safe or claim to use it in moderation, all medical data has demonstrated that marijuana will lead one to become a drug abuser. According to the findings of several studies, it is found that most of the people who are being in this habit of using marijuana for a long time, they find it very difficlut to refrain themselves from using and hence results in them becoming a drug abuser.. Many people who try to quit cannabis later in life endure severe withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, melancholy, eating problems, and frequent bouts of wrath and emotional outbursts[7].   So, this drug has been banned in India keeping its concerns like trafficking, health problems etc. Therefore, marijuana is considered an offence under NDPS act 1985[8]. Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 includes not only the use of cannabis, but also its manufacture, possession, usage, sale/purchase, import/export, transit, and storage, unless for therapeutic or research purposes. A fine of 10,000 rupees or 6 months to 1 year in jail for possession of minor amounts (100 grams for charas and hashish, 1000 grams for ganja).  If somebody is caught with commercial amounts (1 kg for charas and hashish, 20 kg for ganja), the court will sentence them to up to 20 years in prison and a fine of two lakh rupees.  Section 20 provides for a fine of up to one lakh rupees and harsh imprisonment for up to ten years in case of cultivation.  According to Section 25[9], if a person intentionally allows the use of his or her premises to commit an offense under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, he or she shall be penalized under Section 20.  The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Section 28[10], addresses drug attempts, abetment, and criminal conspiracy. Courts may also sentence a repeat criminal to 30 years in jail at their discretion. It is likewise not obligatory to impose the death penalty for repeated violations in circumstances of large-scale drug trafficking.  In the context of driving, we have the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2019,  the main aim of this bill was to ensure more road safety and protect people from such incidents that harms them badly and also to reduce the number of cases and increase the fines and penalties so that people must consider this issue as serious and abide by the laws.. As Per the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the penalties pertaining to these cases was Rs 2000 which now has been changed and thereby increased to Rs, 10,000 so that people must refain themselves from indulging into such activities.  Hence, this shows that there are legislations against the usage of this drug in India and how harmful it is for society socially, economically, emotionally, psychologically, etc. So is the case in terms of driving under the influence of this drug. It is explicit from the above-mentioned legislation about its harms and risks and it ultimately is seen when a person is driving. Therefore, driving under the influence of such a drug which has been banned and its usage amounts to an offense must be avoided because it has several repercussions like crashes,etc thus, people must get aware about these drawbacks and focus on abiding what law suggests and mustn’t go against the law of the land[11]. Hence, the laws concerning driving under the influence of marijuana are strict in our country and have serious repercussions.


 Driving with marijuana’s influence is dangerous firstly to individuals and secondly to society. With one’s negligence, the other suffers without anything. So harm is caused to oneself and others. It becomes immensely important for all the owners of vehicles, drivers, etc to become aware of the usage, and consequences of driving under marijuana and they all must abide by all the laws concerning this drug and also all other drugs. One must understand that life is one and must be taken for granted and we must keep ourselves and others safe. The question of Marijuana in India concerning its legality or illegality, is most often a question of debate. Which thought to support? So this question can be answered by a way forward for this topic that legality or illegality must be decided on the basis of both advantages and disadvantages and it has some perks which are of crucial importance to our society, so before deciding the question, one must consider how it is being regulated, implemented and controlled etc.

Name: Samiya Choudhary

College: Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla

[1] Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (who.int)

[2] Driving | Health Effects | Marijuana | CDC

[3] Does marijuana use affect driving? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)

[4] Legal and Illegal Use of Weed in India – Indian Law Portal

[5] Legal Standing Of India Towards Marijuana (legalserviceindia.com)

[6] Legal Standing Of India Towards Marijuana (legalserviceindia.com)

[7] Legal and Illegal Use of Weed in India – Indian Law Portal




[11] Drunken Driving Laws (Crime) and Punishment In India 2022 (vakilsearch.com)

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