A BJP MP from Shimla parliamentary seat Virender Kashyap has demanded legalization of opium cultivation in the state. Kashyap said he will approach the Central government, requesting that opium cultivation be allowed in Himachal as it is in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Legalizing opium cultivation will stop its illegal production and also to help farmers in poverty-stricken districts of the state. Kashyap said that opium is used for medicinal uses and we are importing it from other countries. He added that when we can grow it then there is no need for its import. Kashyap said that he is raising this issue in parliament and also submit my request to the concerned ministries.

Illegal opium cultivation has increased several-folds in the state in the last two decades. According to narcotics control bureau (NCB) estimates, Himachal illegally produces 40,000 kg of opium annually, worth Rs 240 crore in the market. Prior its ban opium cultivation was common in many parts of Sirmaur, Shimla, Mandi and Kullu districts.