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Most Popular Drugs In India: Cannabis/ Marijuana (part 3)

In my introductory post, we compared drugs to an explosion that went of decades ago in India. This explosion takes its toll on India everyday, and three drugs seem to contribute more than any other.

Coming in as India's third most popular drug, tobacco. We found that this dangerous substance affects not only our health, but our economy as well.

Heroin and brown sugar took second place. Heroin consumption in India tops the list for the drug's consumption southern Asia, and brown sugar (an adulterated form of heroin) threatens every age group of our country.

What is India’s Most Popular Drug?

Marijuana.

Marijuana has a very long history in India. From ancient Hindu texts where the drug is called a "source of happiness," to communal sharing of chillums, marijuana is ingrained in the very fabric of our country.

Large tracts of cannabis grow unrestricted in many parts of northern India. Indian law makes it illegal to possess marijuana, but is rarely enforced. Implementation of the law would be very difficult due to the drug's popularity.

What is Marijuana?

Also called grass, hemp, pot, hash, kif, and gangster; marijuana demonstrates one of India’s worst habits. A blend of stems, seeds, and leaves from the cannabis sativa plant create the green/brown brown mixture.[ref]http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana-abuse/what-marijuana[/ref]

Though made up of over 400 chemicals, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), marijuana's key psychoactive ingredient, gives the drug its unique kick.

What are the effects of Marijuana?

The effects of marijuana tend to be mild when compared to other illicit drugs. A slightly drunken and euphoric sensation can be felt soon after taking marijuana. Most often marijuana is not debilitating, but its long-term effects can be dangerous.

How has Marijuana affected India?

Marijuana's effect on India:[ref]http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-teenage-mind/201106/history-cannabis-in-india[/ref]

  • Construction workers use it to feel refreshed at the end of a long day.
  • Hundus use it during religious ceremonies–seeking divinity.
  • Sadhus (Indian ascetics) use cannabis to seek spiritual freedom.

Marijuana is such a part of our country's history and culture that it seems impossible to remove. So what should we do?

What needs to be done about Marijuana in India?

Marijuana needs to be accepted for what it is, and its real effects on families, individuals, and our culture. In India, Marijuana is justified by its history and social acceptance.

Indians need to look at marijuana from the perspective of the present, and what we know about it… not from the past.