Is India losing out on a ready-to-boom cannabis market by not legalising its use?


Just about everybody smokes marijuana in India. Hush, not a word to anybody. We will all be arrested. It’s a democratic, egalitarian weed loved by copywriters, doctors, designers, salesmen, delivery boys, auto-rickshaw drivers, cycle-rickshaw pullers, NGO employees, journalists, chauffeurs, housewives, house husbands, army men, policemen, schoolteachers, college professors, train TTs, corporate slaves and honchos, politicians and, of course, musicians. 

There are places famous for it: Kerala, Meghalaya, Manipur, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Mysuru, even Bihar. It’s illegal and yet its use is widespread. In Odisha, it is relatively more acceptable and easier to procure. In Varanasi, at a fancy lit fest that I was invited to, bhang balls were served to delegates on a silver platter. It was part of tradition and local hospitality, the law be damned. Smoking culture has evolved in India. 

There was a time in the 1980s and ’90s when users would empty out cigarettes, fill them, smoke them. Then came carpet-thick Capstan cigarette papers and people learnt to roll (unbleached brown paper is all the rage now). In the last decade, pot smoking in India reached the tipping point. It’s a sign of how pervasive and popular it is that king-size rolling paper is now available at almost every cigarette and paan shack, in every nook and cranny of the country......Read more

 

Source web page: Economic times


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