With the Indian news spotlight falling squarely on weed and literally nothing else, the legality of the the plant is being discussed at great length. Section 20 of the NDPS Act, 1985 deals with offences relating to the consumption, cultivation, possession, use, sale/purchase, import/export, transportation and warehousing of cannabis. So what exactly would the consequences of possessing 59 grams be?

The NDPS defines small quantities as 100 grams from charas/hashish, and 1000 grams for ganja – which is a massive amount in itself. If caught, you have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 or serve a jail term of 6 months to 1 year.

According to this act, charas, crude or purified, is a separated resin obtained from the cannabis plant and includes concentrated preparation or resin called liquid or hashish oil. Ganja is the flowering or fruiting top, that excludes seeds and leaves which do not form part of the top. The act also includes any mixture or drink made out of charas or ganja.

Commercial quantities are defined as 1 kg for charas/hashish, and 20 kgs of ganja. 

For possession of more than a small quantity but less than the commercial quantity, the prescribed punishment is rigorous imprisonment for up to 10 years, fine of Rs. 1 lakh, or both.


Considering 59 grams is a lot less than the amount considered small in the NDPS act (1000 grams of weed), it is likely that the fine or the prison sentence would be much lower. 

In India, most people get away from being charged with possession by paying a bribe. Heck, even dealers pay bribes to the police, who apparently confiscate and sell it themselves, as a recent case showed!

Anyway, that’s the punishment for having 59 grams of cannabis.