Cannabis growing in Islamabad.

Cannabis in Pakistan is illegal, although in many parts of the country enforcement is lax. Cannabis is widely consumed in Pakistan as charas and bhang.


Before influence from the British and American governments[1], cannabis was widely used within Central Asia medicinally, as a staple, for textile, and for psychotropic effects.[2] It was revered, as stated within the Atharvaveda, as one of five sacred plants [3] and it was believed that a guardian angel exists within it

A 1983 report by the Pakistan Narcotics Control Board states that drug usage was largely stable in the 1950s-1970s with opium and cannabis being common, but there was an upsurge in cannabis usage by middle class youths in the late 1960s and early 1970s due to the influence of Western pop culture. However, by the 1980s the habit fell from fashion in the middle class.[4]


Under the Control of Narcotics Substance Act of 1997, it is illegal to produce, manufacture, extract, prepare, possess, offer for sale, sell, purchase or distribute cannabis in Pakistan. Although after acquiring a permit from provincial or federal government its cultivation is allowed for medical, scientific or industrial purposes. If found in violation of the above, it is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to seven years, with a fine, or with both.[5]

Enforcement of laws against hard drugs is prioritized in Pakistan, while the personal use of cannabis is often overlooked.[6] This is particularly true in various tribal regions of Pakistan, where cannabis is sometimes sold in public markets.[7][8]


Cannabis is widely used in Pakistan, and smoked as charas (hashish) or consumed as a drink as bhang.[9] According to a 2013 report 6.4 million people in Pakistan consume cannabis.[10]


  1. ^ Bapat, Sharda N (2015). "Cannabis: the Forgotten Sacred Plant of India". Atreya Ayurveda Publications. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  2. ^ Touw, Mia (January 1981). "The Religious and Medicinal Uses of in China, India and Tibet". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 13 (1): 23–34. doi:10.1080/02791072.1981.10471447. PMID 7024492.
  3. ^ Aldrich, Michael R. (1977). "Tantric cannabis use in India". Journal of Psychedelic Drugs. 4 (3): 227–233. doi:10.1080/02791072.1977.10472053. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  4. ^ Pakistan Narcotics Control Board (1983). International Conference on Demand and Supply of Opiates in Pakistan: proceedings. Pakistan Narcotics Control Board. p. 43.
  5. ^ "Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997" (PDF).
  6. ^ Karimjee, Mariya (27 February 2013). "In conservative Pakistan, everybody must get stoned". Public Radio International. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Cannabis in Pakistan". Sensi Seeds. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  8. ^ "A Visit to Peshawar and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan". Cannabis Culture. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  9. ^ Vera Rubin (1 January 1975). Cannabis and Culture. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 347–. ISBN 978-3-11-081206-0.
  10. ^ "Doing hash? Think again". Retrieved 2017-09-03.