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Fact Check: No, Home Minister Lamichhne Didn’t Say He Will Authorise Marijuana Within A Month. Viral Video Is Misleading

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane said he will legalise marijuana within a month.
Fact
Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane announced to formulate regulations for study on marijuana cultivation for medicinal use.

A video claiming that Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane said that he will authorise marijuana within a month is going viral on TikTok.

Presenting the government’s annual budget for the fiscal year 2024/25 on May 28, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun had remarked that the government aims to formulate necessary laws for commercial production of marijuana in the country.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @society_nepal posted a video carrying an image of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane along with some big texts reading, “I will authorise marijuana within a month: Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane.” Another text reads, “Home Minister of incumbent Prachanda-led government, Rabi Lamichhane ready to authorise marijuana within a month.”  

The video posted on June 7 has garnered 653 likes, and 66 users have commented on it.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker ran a search on Google by using some relevant Nepali keywords and found an article, dated June 7, 2024, published on Kantipur Television. According to the article, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Rabi Lamichhane expressed his commitment to drafting the regulations for the study and research on the cultivation of marijuana for medical use. The article has also quoted Home Minister Lamichhane saying that the regulation is not for consumption of marijuana as recreation.

On checking another article published on My Republica online, we found that Home Minister Lamichhane, during a meeting of the Agriculture, Cooperatives, and Natural Resources Committee of Parliament, said that a study committee would be formed within a month to explore marijuana cultivation comprehensively. Minister Lamichhane, however, reiterated that individuals abusing narcotic drugs or involved in smuggling illegal substances would face legal actions.

We also found an article published on onlinekhabar.com which also reported on the same issue.

However, we didn’t find any reports regarding the Home Minister expressing his commitment to authorise or lift the ban on marijuana within a month.

Conclusion

No, the Home Minister didn’t say that he will authorise or lift the ban on marijuana within a month. He actually said that he will formulate regulations for the study of cultivation of marijuana for commercial and medicinal use. Thus, the claim made in the viral video is misleading.

Result: Missing Context

Sources
Kantipur TV, June 7, 2024
My Republica, June 7, 2024
Online Khabar, June 7, 2024


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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