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Before You Consume Cannabis, Read This!

This article has been written by Priyanka Bajpai, student of Amity Law School, Chhattisgarh .

Sometimes good things are interpreted wrong and are not given importance that they actually deserve. Similar thing took place with the misinterpreted drug, MARIJUANA. By listing its name we all make an image that it is bad for health and is not legal to use. The fact that it is illegal in India is true but assuming that it only has bad effects is wrong.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana comes from the Hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa. It refers to the dried leafs, flowers, stems and seeds from the Cannabis Sativa. The plant contains the chemical TCH and other similar compounds. It is a psychoactive drug used primarily for medical or recreational purpose.

Why was it banned ?

In the year 1961, under US’s pressure, UN convention declared Marijuana under the category of Synthetic Drug. And due to this , Marijuana was declared to be illegal and US pressurized to put a ban on it.
India firstly denied to do so, but due to pressure from US, India declared it illegal in the year 1985. After then, Marijuana became illegal in India .Different forms such as hashish , ganja, charas are banned and deemed to be unlawful.

According to Section2 of the Narcotic Drugs and psychotropic substances act 1985, cannabis hemp means[1]:

US, the only reason why marijuana was made illegal in India , itself removed ban and legalized marijuana in nearly 27 states of US for medical purposes and in 11 states for recreational purposes. Marijuana is legal in more than 40 countries.

Marijuana is used to make painkillers and other medicines. This herb has immense benefits if used properly. Many pharmaceutical industries in US use marijuana to make various medicines and sell them in a much higher rate in India. The hemp industries in US would have been a great support to the US’ economy as it would contribute up to Three Lakh Crore by the year,2020. according to the Forbes Report, hemp industries will also create more jobs than the manufacturing industries in US. India on the contrary do not even have any such industry. US on the other hand uses hemp cultivation for production of various products like – body care products , food supplements , plastic products etc. and selling it to us in higher rate , thereby boosting its economy.

India was known for its Ayurvedic industry and marijuana was known to be the backbone of this industry. It was referred as Penicillin of Ayurvedic medicine. After the ban was imposed, this industry faced a backlog. Non – availability of Marijuana caused fall in the making and selling of Ayurvedic medicines.

All those countries with marijuana being legal, have much more gross happiness index than India. These countries experienced fall in alcohol consumption and fall in consumption of synthetic drugs like heroine and cocaine. While in India , it the opposite.

Netherlands has legalized Marijuana and has experienced fall in crime rate, increased awareness and this brought country’s regulation at its place.

In India , Uttarakhand is the only state that has allowed commercial cultivation of Hemp and provide license for its cultivation with certain limits.

Reasons for legalizing marijuana in India.

By bringing ban on Marijuana and making it illegal , India faced many problems. Earlier when marijuana was legal , India Ayurvedic Industry was in working and was generating income and employment. Medicines were made in India using Marijuana and were effective.

Certain reasons to legalize marijuana in India[2] :


In India, marijuana has its ancient importance. In India it is used as bhang during Holi festival, it has been given importance as Lord Shiva used to consume it. In many ways India is related to the marijuana from the roots and this herb has its own benefits . All the benefits that can make India grow its economy as it will generate products and employment , are now not there in India and by Legalizing Marijuana, this can be achieved.



Also read: The Legal Status of Cannabis in India

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