“Ganja” or “Marijuana” is the most common term used for a naturally growing weed plant “Cannabis”, which is a heavily used illegal drug all across the globe. It is widely estimated that over 125 Million people uses it in some or other form every year. India is a major producer and consumer of this drug because of its historic mythological and mystical connection. It is believed that the Hindu Lord Shiva was an avid user of Cannabis using it as a coolant to calm his temper. Thus, the drug is consumed and celebrated in the name of Shiva as an offering on various festivals. It is said that Marijuana helps one to attain ecstasy in the real sense leading to nirvana.
Although, in 1985 “Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act” was passed by Rajiv Gandhi government clubbing the Marijuana with drugs like Smack, Heroin and cocaine. This poor law made the naturally produced weed a taboo in society; however 29 years down the line with the new generation do we need to reconsider it. Here are ten irrefutable reasons to legalize it in India.
1. Marijuana is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol
Well, it has been scientifically proven that marijuana does not possess any kind of addiction and adverse effects on mild use. Although, prolonged use can cause dependence as a psychological relief, but that is not hard coded addiction. Whereas, Both tobacco and alcohol are legal despite being their severe addiction and heavily detrimental health effects. Marijuana does not have any social elevation, it makes people calm and induces creativity.
2. Marijuana has the plethora of manifested Medical benefits.
It has been recorded in various scientific experiments that Marijuana is a benevolent herb for cancer patients as well as many other harmful diseases. The THC extracts produced by marijuana can suppress the cancer cells and inhibits the spread to other parts of the body. The drug can be used to treat anxiety disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana escalates the metabolism thus reducing weight and improving appetite. Our own Ayurveda has many excerpts of Marijuana treatments.
3. It will curb underworld trade and associated gangs.
Though it is illegal, Marijuana is an easily accessible drug in cities and even villages. There is a whole branch of underground mafia circulating the demands of this drug and making a huge black money out of it. Legalization will cause decriminalization with government-induced trade policies benefiting the farmers and merchants, cutting out a whole vein of the black market and associated crimes.
4. Taxing marijuana will bring a surge in Indian economy.
Yes, the Indian government should consider thinking upon it. Legalizing and taxing marijuana will bring a huge flow of tax income into the government’s vault. The government keeps on raising the taxes on cigarettes in the name of its inadvertent benefit that, people will quit because of its high cost. However, legal marijuana industry with heavy taxes is a future gold mine for the country.
5. It will create a lot of job opportunities.
Marijuana industry has a lot of potential and it will lead to manpower requirement. This will create a plethora of jobs in the country reducing the employment rate. Well, this argument might sound invalid but you will be amazed to know that the legal tobacco industry is providing a livelihood to 25 million people in India. Why can’t it be marijuana?
6. Legalization will improve the lifestyle of local Himachal communities
In the cold Himalayan terrains, regular farming is an uphill task but Marijuana growth is most favoured because of the soil and weather conditions. In such case, Marijuana production is the only source of income for the locals. However, its illegal tag compels them to sell it at a cheaper price to Italian and Israeli mafia and they also face pressure from police. Legalization will grant them independence to grow and sell at the valid prices to their own countrymen.
7. The tourism industry will revive with a lot of pot loving Westerners
India is a hot destination for foreign tourism as many people come to see the historical monuments and natural beauties. But what about those who are looking for a “Higher meaning” to life. Well, the hippies and vagabonds are always in search of this Nirvana and legalization will attract a lot of tourists making India the Amsterdam of the east.
8. Prohibition has failed in Himachal as it is illegally produced.
So far it is observed that government has failed to actually control and prohibit the illegal flow of marijuana. According to some facts, 60,000 Kg of hash and 40,000 Kg of opium is produced annually in Himachal Pradesh and only 500Kg is seized annually. More than 1600 hectares of farmlands are being cultivated for Cannabis. Thus, it can be said that government has actually failed to curb it.
9. Good Quality product will be available in market.
It is said that India produces the best quality of Hash and Weed throughout the world. Some also say that Parvati Valley (Most Famous recreational Potspot ) is blessed by Lord Shiva for its high quality. So, legalization will reduce the harmful additions of chemicals and afeem in the weed sold in market improving its quality.
10. No overdose and addiction is detected yet.
Well, I am not a Marijuana addict. I might have tried it once ( or twice). So lastly I can add that marijuana has not addiction and till date no overdose case is recorded for the same. It is believed that you have to smoke 15,000 joints in 20 minutes for its overdose which cannot be practically possible and at that amount even water is lethal.
It can be concluded that under the United States pressure our country forcefully banned this narcotic, whereas the very same suppressor is legalizing it freely all across their own country. So, Marijuana laws are outdated and need to be redefined under proper production and control. This should be kept away from adolescents but a minor dose won’t affect at all to the adults. So, instead of spending a huge bulk of the money to criminalize and curb it, the government can legalize and make money out of this culturally accepted drug.