Legalization of Cannabis in India
Cannabis or Marijuana is a type of psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant used primarily for medical and recreational purposes. Cannabis is usually used by smoking, vaping, within food or as an extract. Cannabis has various mental and physical effects, which include euphoria, altered states of mind and sense of time, difficulty concentrating, impaired short-term memory and body movement, relaxation, and an increase in appetite. Onset of effects is felt within minutes when smoked, and about 30 to 60 minutes when cooked and eaten. The effects last for two to six hours, depending on the amount used.
Cannabis in India has been used since as early as 2000 BCE. In Indian society, common terms for cannabis preparations include chars (resin), ganja (flower), and bhang (seeds and leaves), with Indian drinks, such as, bhang lassi and bhang thandai, made from bhang, being one of the most common legal uses.
So the question arises whether should be cannabis be legalized in India in all forms like one of its product called ‘Bhang” and what would be the benefits to it. First let us analyze the benefits to legalization of marijuana to the public at large.
I. Clampdown on the illegal trade and distribution–
Since marijuana is illegal in India, The trade cycle is mainly managed by peddlers and drug dealers who usually mix other adulterants into the drug to increase its quantity and deliver a more euphoric feeling to their customers but this also leads to severe health problems which in the long term can prove fatal to the consumers. The legalization of cannabis will lead to government quality checks and age restriction barriers which ensure that the product is not sold to minors.
II. Benefits to the farmers-
Usually the farmers who cultivate cannabis are forced to sell their products to peddlers and dealers at a very low price due to it being illegal and more than often it so happens that the cops destroy their fields and they can’t do anything but watch as they are helpless due to the fact there is no protection for them, Legalization of cannabis protects these farmers and helps them towards a better lifestyle than just surviving on bare basics.
III. It will create job opportunities-
Legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes in Colorado have created 10,000 new jobs in the area. There are a plethora of jobs that can be created by the marijuana industry and help reduce India’s unemployment rate.
IV. Marijuana use has medical benefits-Studies have shown that marijuana use has dozens of medical benefits.
It treats glaucoma, prevents cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, reduces anxiety, slows the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, improves metabolism and is even said to spur creativity in our brain.
V. Taxing marijuana will lead to Increase in the coffers of the government-
Taxing cannabis will also help the government in earning a huge amount of revenue due to the fact that cannabis has an extensive user base in India. This will also help in the boost of the economy as a whole and will help India in covering the deficits on their part.
After withstanding the United States’ pressure for 25 years, India finally gave into the demands of its Western counterpart in 1986 by clubbing marijuana with other hard drugs and criminalizing it. However, by making it illegal, more problems have come up. True, marijuana should be kept away from the adolescents, but its moderate use will not pose any risk to adults. And truth to be told, the laws regarding marijuana in India is outdated and needs to be refreshed which will not only benefit the government but will also benefit the public at large.