Thursday, November 15, 2012

The joint campaign: Should we not legalize recreational use of Cannabis?

source: THE TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: What two American states, Washington and Colorado, have decided to do - legalize recreational use of marijuana - was the norm in India until 1985. All cannabis derivatives - marijuana (grass or ganja), hashish (charas) and bhang - were legally sold in this country. As a matter of fact, most state governments had their own retail shops to sell these drugs. India has known, consumed and celebrated ganja, charas and bhang for millennia.

Their consumption was never regarded as socially deviant behaviour any more than drinking alcohol was. If there was any bias against ganja or charas, it was that these were often viewed as the poor man's intoxicant by the upper classes. But come Holi, these prejudices would melt away as rich and poor savoured the joyous high of bhang. Even now, despite a legal ban, recreational use of these drugs is widespread in India.

Keeping marijuana legal was actually an enlightened view. It is now medically proven that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. In fact, the good weed has medical uses (as many as 19 US states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes). However, moderation is the key. While excessive and sustained consumption of alcohol can cause severe liver damage leading to death, excessive use of marijuana too can cause some damage, mainly to our sensory abilities. In moderation, marijuana is a gentle mood-altering relaxant.

So, if there is a rational policy towards intoxicants and we allow the sale and consumption of liquor, there is no good reason to not similarly allow sale and consumption of marijuana, hashish and bhang. For years, India has held this position. For 25 years since 1961, it has withstood American pressure to keep marijuana legal. Which brings us to the story of why it was banned in India.

Since 1961, the US has been campaigning for a global law against all drugs, both hard and soft. Given that ganja, charas and bhang were a way of life in India, we opposed the drastic measure. But by the early '80s, American society was grappling with some drug problems and opinion had grown against the "excesses" of the hippie generation. In 1985, the Rajiv Gandhi government buckled under the pressure and enacted a law called the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

It was a poor law that clubbed marijuana, hashish and bhang with hard drugs like smack, heroin, cocaine and crack, and banned them all. The minimum punishment for violation of the NDPS Act was 10 years of jail (it has since been relaxed and the crackdown on marijuana has eased somewhat). What happened as a result of this law was that almost overnight the entire trade shifted from peddling grass or charas to smack or worse. This was because while the risk was the same, profits from the hard-killer drugs were ten times higher.

And suddenly, there was a drugs problem in India. In cities like Delhi, for instance, smack addiction grew. The addicts were mostly poor people - those who had earlier smoked grass were now 'chasing' smack. Newspapers reported cases of men selling off all household goods to get money for a fix. What is significant is that instances of deviant behaviour were rare when marijuana, hashish and bhang were legal. The poorly thought-out NDPS Act had actually created a drugs problem where there was none.

Twenty seven years later, now that some American states have "shown the way", it is time to revisit the ban. When ganja, charas and bhang don't have obvious medical negatives and don't lead to addiction or violent behaviour (which alcohol may be accused of doing), why then should it not be legal as it was in India for centuries? Especially, when there is no social or cultural rejection of them. On the contrary, it is a way of life in our country.

Poorly thought-out laws lead to corruption and the harassment of ordinary people. It also tells on the health of the nation. Instead, the NDPS Act should be amended and soft drugs such as ganja, charas and bhang should be made legal.

What is cannabis?

2 comments:

  1. Do you know that cannabis has been used to cure schizophrenia, Alzheimer, bi polar disorder, head injuries, swelling of the brain, brain cell growth and development issues, glaucoma, chronic pain, including nerve and joint pain, depression, epileptic seizures, rage, addiction to hard drugs and alcohol, Pulmonary fibrosis, lung disease, Ebola virus, blood pressure, insomnia, autism, tourettes syndrome, Asthma, skin bacteria, diabetes, stuttering, and of course all yes, all types of cancer... HAHA!! Take that grape seed extract.. with respect to long term use in psychiatric cases, chronic pain, healing methodology, and or spirituality.FEEL FREE TO visit our website through (http://www.buykushonline.blogspot.com.com/) or email (medicalkush2@gmail.com) For Medical Marijuana Treatments PLEASE SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you know that cannabis has been used to cure schizophrenia, Alzheimer, bi polar disorder, head injuries, swelling of the brain, brain cell growth and development issues, glaucoma, chronic pain, including nerve and joint pain, depression, epileptic seizures, rage, addiction to hard drugs and alcohol, Pulmonary fibrosis, lung disease, Ebola virus, blood pressure, insomnia, autism, tourettes syndrome, Asthma, skin bacteria, diabetes, stuttering, and of course all yes, all types of cancer... HAHA!! Take that grape seed extract.. with respect to long term use in psychiatric cases, chronic pain, healing methodology, and or spirituality.FEEL FREE TO visit our website through (http://www.buykushonline.blogspot.com) or email (medicalkush2@gmail.com) For Medical Marijuana Treatments PLEASE SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY

    ReplyDelete