In a video that went viral recently, Nithyananda claimed that marijuana, unlike alcohol, was not addictive and did not cause health problems.

 Marijuana is a herb not addictive Nithyananda yet to appear before CCB over speech
news Controversy Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 17:23

Days after the Central Crime Branch (CCB) issued a notice to controversial ‘godman’ Nithyananda for his recent speech on the use of marijuana, he is yet to appear in front of CCB officials for questioning.

Nithyananda is reportedly avoiding CCB officials following the notice. “Nithyananda has been away from the state on account of Chaturmasa. Recently, officials had tried to contact him at his ashram here (in Bidadi) but they were not able to reach him. We are waiting for CCB to give us instructions on this matter,” said an official from Bidadi police station. The self-styled godman’s main ashram is located in Bidadi in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka.

In a video that went viral recently, Nithyananda claimed that marijuana, unlike alcohol, was not addictive and did not cause health problems. “Only alcohol becomes an addition. Marijuana can never become an addiction because it is a herb. In my life, I have not seen an addiction pattern developed by marijuana. I am not supporting marijuana. I never used (marijuana) and I am not saying all of you should use marijuana,” he said.

Nithyananda went on to add that people who take marijuana are in control of their actions. “In my experience of dealing with millions of people, I have seen alcohol addiction but I have not seen a single brain or bio memory develop an addiction because of marijuana. People who use marijuana feel free to stop using the substance whenever they want. I am not seeing their freedom being bound or their health damaged by marijuana. But I am not promoting it,” he said.

The video was shared widely and was even aired by some news channels. After the CCB received complaints from the public about the video, officials issued a notice to Nithyananda asking him to appear for questioning over the issue.

This is not the first time that the CCB is issuing a notice for speaking about marijuana. In August, Kannada rapper Chandan Shetty was issued a notice accusing him of promoting marijuana in a song released by him. He was asked to offer an apology after appearing before CCB officials. The CCB had claimed that since marijuana is a banned substance and Chandan has a huge fan base, it amounted to violation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Nithyananda is also facing trial after being accused of raping a woman disciple for almost five years after making her stay in the ashram under the pretence of spirituality. He has also been accused of changing his position on his impotence repeatedly during the course of the case causing a delay of eight years after he was first booked by the police in 2010.

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