JAYETTLEKE J. Wilson v. Kolalawala (Excise Inspector).
1946Present : Jayetileke J.WILSON, Appellant, and KOTALAWALA (EXCISEINSPECTOR), Respondent.
765—M. C. Badulla, 12,071.
Oanja—Possession of hemp plant—Poisons, Opium, and Dangerous DrugsOrdinance (Cap. 172), ss. 25 and 26.
Ganja comes within the definition of the hemp plant the possession ofwhich is proliibited by section 26 of the Poisons, Opium and DangerousDrugs Ordinance.
^ PPEAL from a conviction by the Magistrate of Badulla.
G. T. Samarawichrame, for accused, appellant.
T. K. Curtis, C.C., for Attorney-General.
Cur. adv. vult.
January 21, 1946. Jayetileke J —
This is a prosecution under section 76 (5) (a) of the Poisons, Opium andDangerous Drugs Ordinance (Chap. 172) for possessing seeds, leaves andstems of % hemp plant in contravention of section 26 of the Ordinance.
JAYETILEKE J-—Wilson v. Kalalaivnla (Excise Inspector).
Section 25 of the Ordinance defines the expression "hemp plant”as follows :—
“ Hemp plant means the plant known as Cannabis Sativa L. ”.
The Excise Inspector who gave evidence in the case said that he foundin a suitcase belonging to the accused parts of a hemp plant commonlyknown as ganja. The meaning of the word “ ganja ” was considered byMoncreiff A.C.J. in Ukku Banda v. Ukku Banda1. He said—
“ Under the word ganjain the Century Dictionary I find the following:The Hemp plants of the North of India, specifically the dried plantwhich has flowered. In the Standard Dictionary ganja or janja issaid to be the Hemp plant of India and Persia (Cannabis Sativa) driedwith its flowers and gum. It is smoked in pipes for its narcotic effect.In the Encyclopaedia Brittannica under the word bhang, I find anEast Indian name for the Hemp plant Cannabis Sativa, but appliedspecially to the leaves dried and prepared for use as a narcotic drug.
. In India the products of the plant for use as a narcotic andintoxicant are recognised under the three names and forms of bhang,ganja or gunja and churrus or charras …. Ganja is theflowering or fruitbearing tops of the female plants. I find also underthe word hemp in the same publication that bhang is said to be theHindustan Siddhi or Sabzi, consisting of the dried leaves and smallstalks of the hemp and ganja is said to be the guaza of the Londonbrokers, consisting of the flowering and fruiting heads of the femaleplant.”
From these observations it seems fairly clear that the botanical namefor the hemp plant is Cannabis Sativa. Mr. Samarawiekrame contendedthat there are two varieties of the hemp plant, namely, Cannabis Sativaand Cannabis Indica.
He referred to section 25 of Ordinance No. 17 of 1929 in which theexpression hemp plant was defined thus—
“ Hemp plant means the plant known as Cannabis Sativa or CannabisIndica ”.
That section was amended by section 6 of Ordinance No. 43 of 1925by the deletion of the words “ or Cannabis Indica ”. According to theOxford Dictionary* ganja is a preparation of Indian Hemp (CannabisSativa variety Indica). Cannabis Indica is a species of CannabisSativa, and that, presumably, is the reason why the section wasamended. In my view ganja comes within the definition of hemp plant.in the Ordinance. I would, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.
1 7 N. L. R. 1.