Shashi tharoor wants india to legalize ganja

June 9, 2021
culture , news-pt
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Shashi Tharoor wants India to legalize Ganja

While the government has strict norms against the production and sale of cannabis, one politician recently expressed the need for legalizing it. Shashi Tharoor (Congress MP for Thiruvananthapuram) is the latest person to publicly speak up for cannabis legalisation in India. Along with his nephew, Tharoor wrote a piece in The Print expressing their views on the legalization of cannabis. Countries around the globe including Canada, Netherlands, Uruguay, Peru, and several US states have started regulating the plant and he believes that there is something to be learnt.

The prohibition of cannabis in India came in form of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985; However, even before that the plant had already been illegal in the country for more than two decades because our government signed the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty in 1961. He points out to the treaty; the Single Convention refers to the drug addiction as “a serious evil for the individual [that] is fraught with social and economic danger to mankind”. This exaggerated phrasing is what formed the basis for the prohibition of cannabis, “inflicting needless black-market violence across the world to suppress the trade of a drug with far less harms than alcohol, tobacco, or even many of the drugs you may find in your medicine cabinet.”

While expressing the dire need for legalization he also emphasized the harmful effects of cannabis, he states, “Those who use it as adolescents or younger may be more likely to develop mental health problems later in life”. Thus, he stressed that we need to regulate it rather than leaving it in the hands of an unregulated criminal market. Tharoor believes that cannabis should be safely produced by competent farmers, packaged and tested in suitable facilities, and sold by reputable and licensed vendors.

In the current state of affairs, the consumers have no knowledge about the THC content (the main psychoactive constituent) or the overall quality of the maal. He says, "Regulation is not only beneficial for people who want to use cannabis safely; it also enhances security for all of society, as it helps undermine criminal markets. Due to the drug’s illegality, cannabis sales currently line the pockets of various characters in a vast criminal underworld, some of whom may be committing far more nefarious crimes."

Beside saving money that is currently being spent on enforcing the prohibition, he believes legal regulation would provide a boost to our economy, it would create a whole new legal industry.Tharoormentions how the US state of Colorado has benefited from regulation,“in Coloradothere were over $1.5 billion worth of cannabis sales in 2017 (incidentally, Colorado’s population is just 0.4 per cent that of India’s)”.

He also pointed out how one of the two main species of the plant, cannabis Indica, is in fact named after our nation. Talking about history he states, "Cannabis is referred to in ancient Indian historic and religious texts, in accounts by Portuguese visitors and British invaders, and continues to be used in Hindu rituals across the country – most commonly in bhang form." According to Tharoor, “The international prohibition of cannabis has failed in every country that has attempted to implement it”, moreover, it has only led to more crimes and health harms. He ends it with, "It’s high time for India to embrace the health, business, and broader societal benefits that legally regulating cannabis can bring."

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