Arts & Culture

Is it ‘High’ Time for Legalization of Marijuana?

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Read on to find out about Great Legalization Movement (GLM) in India and the arguments behind legalization of marijuana.

On 21st September 2019, N Biren Singh the Chief Minister of Manipur stated that serious consideration was being given to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. This comes after the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand have already legalized it for medicinal use. The legalization of the use of ganja for recreational purposes still seems far out of reach, but organisations like GLM are working towards complete legalization throughout India.

Till now, GLM has already written a letter to our Prime Minister in 2017, they have also filed a plea in Delhi High Court for legalization, and have an online presence raising awareness about the positive effects and the medicinal uses of marijuana. On asked about the work GLM is doing, Janesh, a Delhi University (DU) student says, “There’s so many misconceptions behind the usage and effects of cannabis that have overshadowed the actual facts. This is why I am a huge supporter of the work GLM is doing. Educating the people about what Cannabis actually is and how great it can be is really important right now.”

Several reports and studies have dismissed the claims that marijuana is a gateway drug, and proved that it can be used medically for glaucoma and pain relief for those suffering from chronic illnesses. It is less harmful and addictive than both cigarettes and alcohol, also doesn’t have as many negative effects. Shaurya, a third-year student from Hindu College, says, “We live in a college where drinking and smoking is legal and has its own huge legal empire. Second, this is a very basic argument and I might not be backing up the argument with facts, But I guess there’s an assumption that drinkers are more violent than stoners like drunk violence, it happens to people who are drunk, so if we are allowing drinkers to engage in their drunkenness, then why can’t we allow stoners to roll their papers in full freedom.”

As per the ‘2018 Cannabis Price Index’, Delhi ranked as the third highest city (pun intended) in terms of consumption while Mumbai was at the sixth position. This data clearly shows that there is a space for the government to profit from legalization along with helping to regulate the quality of marijuana.

However, some feel that due to Indian society and the regressive parenting that many face, it is too early to legalize marijuana. Srijan Vaish, a first year student from Dyal Singh College, says, “Anti legalisation bas yeh hi hain that we are not like the west, our culture and tradition are way different. People still don’t drink alcohol in front of their parents or let them know about it. Parents still restrict their children from partying till late because of the fear that they might end up doing drugs.” He further goes on to say that legalization will exacerbate this problem.

Feature Image Credits: Crosscut

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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