With widespread local usage despite of a legal ban, is it time for India to revise its cannabis policies? Should India legalize cannabis and put an end to the stigma surrounding its use? Here is a look at some of the facts surrounding cannabis industry in India.
Legal Status of Cannabis in India
The legal status of cannabis in India has gained renewed highlight following the death of Bollywood superstar Sushant Singh Rajput. The actor died due to an alleged suicide attempt by hanging from the fan in his room’s ceiling. Many fans are demanding more legitimate answers as the circumstances reported seemed very unconvincing.
The Narcotics Control Bureau of India has arrested the actor’s girlfriend, her brother and ten others for their alleged connection with the actor’s death and the possession of weed and hash. Known as ganja and charas locally, these drugs are derivatives of the cannabis plant.
According to the research findings of All India Institutes of Medical sciences, about 7.2 million Indians had consumed cannabis in 2018. About 31 million Indians aged between 10-75 actively consume cannabis, in the opinion of a survey conducted by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2019.
Out of the 670 districts in the country, about 400 have continued cultivating cannabis irrespective of its criminalization in 1985. Some view this ‘on-paper’ legalization as purely hypocritical and damaging to small-scale buyers and sellers of the drug. Regardless of its status on the Narcotics Act, the drug is readily and ‘legally’ available on the streets of the country.
Looking at these prevailing circumstances, should India actually legalize cannabis?
Cannabis Ban in India
In 1961, the United States initiated a campaign for a global law against drugs. India was able to oppose the move for nearly 25 years and maintained the legal status of cannabis in its jurisdiction. In 1985 however, Rajiv Gandhi’s administration gave in to the pressure and implemented the NDPS Act. Under this Act, India banned all narcotic drugs which also included cannabis and its derivatives, with some exceptions.
The Indian legislation excludes bhang from its banned list of cannabis derivatives. Applying this exception has allowed India to carry out recreational use of marijuana in some form.
Other than this, any other derivative of the cannabis plant and its consumption are criminalized by Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985. This law primarily banned the production and sale of cannabis resin and flowers, but permitted the use of the leaves and seeds.
Festivals like Holi see a widespread cultural use of bhang. In addition it is also used in edibles like bhola, brownies, beer and lip balms all of which are sold are extremely low prices. “Cannabis is no longer the milk drink had at a festival or a substance smoked in a chillum—there is a bewilderingly wide range of creative products,” says Dr Rahul Luther, psychologist and founder of the Hope Trust.
Recently there has been a growing number of non-governmental organizations that are pressurizing the state to legalize cannabis. The motive behind this is job creation and business growth prospects available in the cannabis industry.
In addition, the medicinal properties of the plant are also giving it new purpose not only in India but globally. Cannabis is helpful for managing symptoms of anxiety, stress and other serious illnesses like cancer. Many pet lovers have also used it to soothe similar conditions in their pets.
Opposition of cannabis reform policy
The present illegal status of cannabis is leading to needless harassment of some agriculturers and sellers in India. Despite of this, a large proportion of policy makers still support its status in the country.
This is because of the large number of controversies that have surrounded the use of the drug. About 7.2 million people are cannabis addicts in India. Most of the users try it just out of stress, peer pressure or curiosity. Due to a lack of counselling or support from social institutions, the end result for most of them is addiction.
Psychoactive effects associated with the THC compound in cannabis is causing permanent brain damage in some users. Hallucinations, depression and suicidal behavior are only some of the side-effects associated with cannabis use.
Without open dialogues with people about controlled use of cannabis, legalization may end up in creating a social catastrophe.
The Legalization of Cannabis across USA; What’s the Real Reason Behind?
People of color are striving for decades and are discriminated against for their usage of drugs. Often facing issues of penalties and illicit charges finally is the time for them to have justice and help sustain the United States economy. The economy has suffered adversely. Back in December global cannabis stock started rising up.
The news is in the air and making a huge difference in the lives of many people. It’s a well-deserved and remarkable recovery for the cannabis industry. 2021 has definitely given them a lot of good news to survive and cheer up! This industry is fighting for a very long time for its due rights and during 2020 several events gave it the due edge. Now it seems like wrestling has resulted in the achievement of existential identity and is already set for any storm. There are several reasons for the change in the direction of the wind. Let’s recap the reasons and have a look at this major shift.
As flagged Covid 19’ has forced the state to legalize cannabis. It is not only the effort of Democrats but also the hole in the budget which is persuading them to take this step. This step will lead towards new employment opportunities and will help families that have lost their means of earning at the hands of the pandemic. It is estimated that billions in terms of tax will be generated to help the state and its citizens.
End to Racism
The people of color will finally get justice. They have been facing racism and discrimination issues since the war on drugs. You must know the history of the plant marijuana- which is believed to be an agent in stopping the immigration of the Mexicans from entering Texas. Initiatives taken by States: The November elections opened up a way for many cannabis companies to open up across New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi. The total addressable market expects more than 16 million new customers. According to studies, very soon, every one-in-three American citizen will live in a state where cannabis adult usage is legalized.
Expansion of other industries
The best for last is cannabis acting as a catalyst in the generation of revenues. Not only is this legalization of cannabis acts as a fuel to empower other industries. Boris Jordan, Chairman, Curaleaf declares that New Jersey was the tipping point and when New York and Pennsylvania go recreational, 80% of the US population will have access to adult-use cannabis.
Helping Hand to Neighboring States
It will also help the neighboring states like Canada to invest in States. The leaders will look forward to trading. Constitutional developments and laws will help US operators and industrialists to trade around core positions. As soon as the legalization of cannabis takes place, multiple fund managers start to buy cannabis in the US which is of high quality. Despite the fact, there is a lot of supply of cannabis and capital raises we still need to remind ourselves that more laws need to exist. Like they have come up with the laws and decree for the growth, cultivation, supply, and possession laws they need to have laws for child-resistant packaging marijuana foods.
What to expect now?
Once the US companies linked with cannabis are able to access capital to fuel and pump their growth and once they list on US exchanges, then the voyage will be underway. This asset will prove to be a new socio-economic engine for the US. The historic end to the war on drugs is on its way. A revolution is coming and good days for many!
Medical Marijuana Leads to Poisoning in Kids
The Bottom Line
Giving medical marijuana to patients suffering from HIV or AIDS, seizure disorders, and in case of chronic pain is trending. In addition to this, it is given to patients suffering from severe nausea. Also, it is proven beneficial for patients who lose their appetite for treatment such as chemotherapy. The chemical inside medical marijuana is active compared to the marijuana plant.
There had been several issues getting under the light once the news of cannabis legalization came into existence. This has for sure brought smiles to millions of faces. Proper laws and decrees have been passed for the possession, cultivation, and growing of marijuana but what is the major concern right now is that there are no laws for the child safe storage of medical marijuana products.
The Complete Story
After the Democrats winning the position they have pushed a way forward to the matter of legalization of medical marijuana in the States. Although there are many states in America where it has been legalized but the debate is still in the air about other states.
Dated, 14th January many states have made it legal in the District of Columbia. There are specific medical conditions allowing patients to use medical marijuana legally. Examples of such conditions include patients with cancer, AIDS, and severe nausea. Also, patients suffering from seizure disorders and high-intensity pain can legally use medical marijuana. However, the Federal Government doesn’t take any legal action against people holding it but it still is illegal under federal law.
Now coming to the major concern legal or illegal, if you have marijuana in your household, it is accessible to small children. The recent study suggests that children swallowing marijuana are serious and need hospitals to save their lives. As medical marijuana has a high intensity of an active chemical termed tetrahydrocannabinol– abbreviated as THC compared to marijuana plant or dried marijuana.
Reports by researchers in Colorado
Kids are curious and they have a habit of imitating adults. There is a very high chance of bad news if you don’t take the proper precautions of keeping medical marijuana at your homes. Cookies, brownies, and candies contain medical marijuana. Such items usually don’t have any warning labels that would at least remind the adults to keep such things out of reach. Researchers in Colorado have recently reported an increase in the number of cases after swallowing its products. The children’s ages vary from 8 months to12 years old. After these cases, evaluations suggested that medical marijuana cakes, brownies, and candies belonged to the grandparents, parents, friends, or baby sitters coming to their places.
Symptoms in Children
The most common and noticeable symptoms that left the parents suspicious were excessive sleeping, lightheadedness, and having trouble maintaining balance. Yet, some children faced breathing issues-leaving them with low oxygen saturation. Fortunately, enough none of such cases expired and they recovered without the persistence of any health issues.
The most common symptoms were excessive sleepiness, lightheadedness, and trouble walking. However, a few became too sleepy and their breathing slowed down. That could mean the child doesn’t get enough oxygen. Fortunately, none of these children died. They all recovered without permanent health problems.
ALSO READ: Two Faces of Marijuana
The True Story
This happened which warned the parents in the state to take special care of their children. As at this particular time there are no regulations for child-resistant packaging of medical marijuana products.
Report says that a 3-year-old child ate a cookie made with his grandfather’s medical marijuana. The trouble for the family came into notice When the child became very sleepy rushing to an emergency room was the only option. Several blood tests and medical procedures as per the protocols took place but the urine sample declared the presence of marijuana. The child was admitted to ICU for further treatment and procedures.
Common Ground Found For Legalizing Weed
Perhaps one of the most overlooked and avoided affairs in the Senate is the legalization of weed. In the past, some laws did become a reality. These include house bill 3703 that makes slight changes to Texas’ low-THC medical program.
We’ve seen about two dozen bills that address decriminalization of medical cannabis, allowing hemp cultivation, and outright legalization of carrying and using weed.
The responsible marijuana policy director Heather Fazio believes that this current push for legalization is something that was never seen.
The house bill 447 by El Paso Democratic Representative Joe Moody would permit adults in the state of Texas to purchase and subsequently possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Moreover, 15 grams of this could be in concentrate form. The bill also allows people to grow up to 12 plants at their private residence.
The bill also argues that this will facilitate in curbing the illegal movement of cannabis as prices will go down significantly and everyone related to the trade will have their records sorted. Bill 447 also allows for retail operations under a license and a 10% sales tax.
The current suggestion will allow most of the money to go to the Public-School Teachers Fund. Another such senator, Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, brings bill 140 to the table that essentially offers an alternate way to distribute the money.
Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Director Heather Fazio believes that economic factors may also weigh heavily. She thinks that over a billion dollars per budget cycle will be added to the national exchequer. All this can be put to practice by legalizing a product that people are already using. Right now it is largely unregulated and is outside the tax net.
Increased Acceptance in People Regarding Weed Use and Distribution
The suggestions are to be a part of the constitution through amendments. Fazio sees more bipartisan common ground in their efforts related to decriminalization and penalty reduction. Even extremely conservative members like Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, wish to reduce the penalty for small-scale possession to a class C misdemeanor. This would make small-scale (under two-ounce) possession ineligible for jail time.
All these movements will allow Texas’ medical cannabis program to grow further. Senator José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, has been a long-standing fan of the medical use of weed. Each time the house was in session since 2015; his SB 90 would allow physicians to prescribe cannabis products to their patients. This is a suggestion for any level of THC concentration, and for whatever diseases that the doctor sees fit. Menéndez believes that his bill will allow a medical doctor the right to decide about what’s the best medical treatment for them.
Medicinal Usage of Weed
Menéndez is vouching for medicinal use of weed. He thinks whoever does abuse the use of weed will continue to do so with or without this legalization. Menéndez further says he wants to open weed usage up for senior citizens and law-abiding citizens who need pain relief. He wants weed legalized for people who wouldn’t dare touch weed except for medicinal purposes.
According to Menéndez, SB 90 could easily pass in both chambers but is unsure about the take of the governor or lieutenant governor on the matter. He expects both to be on the same side as most other Texans, who have vouched for open trade and legalization of weed.
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