A few days back the Union minister of Women and Child Development, Manekaji suggested legalization of Ganja (marijuana) for medical purposes. She made her suggestion in a meeting of a group of ministers (GOM) on drugs demand reduction policy. The GOM was chaired by Rajnathji Union Home minister (wishing him a quick recuperation from fracture). If I remember correctly the NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy also made a similar proposal a few months ago. His argument was more on economics rather than medicinal.
Anyway I completely agree with both the views whether it is for medicine or for money, because we are the assured beneficiaries. We are going to be the producer of best ganja in the country without much effort. Rudra bakhtas normally say Manipur ganja is the best in the country; Uttarakhand ganja is the second best as per their version. Ganja is grown wild in our land. We need to tap it properly; that is all. The excise and narcotic department always have a tough time every year to destroy huge treks of ganja plants in the hills as well as in the plains. Once it is legalized the department as well as the people will prosper and flourish.
This a very progressive thinking on the part of the minister for the simple reason that if someone is addicted to ganja, it is much better because it is a least harmful drug; unlike any other hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, it has subtle a effect on body and mind. Ganja is a lesser evil in terms of abuse-able drug. Today marijuana is emerging as a wonder drug with high medicinal value. It is globally proven that marijuana is a good pain killer with minimum side-effects, a great anti-depressant, anti Alzheimer, a great appetizer, and it has anti cancer compounds (still under research).
I am a great supporter of this legalization idea because, it is going to be a windfall for my people . Ganja is wildly grown along the banks of Iril River and in the hill districts particularly in Ukhrul. We don’t need to plant it; it is indeed part of our natural vegetation, grown naturally in many parts of the State. Once the procurement, possession, processing and sale are legalized and regulated many of the natives will become affluent.
It is difficult to understand the reason behind the ban on Ganja. I was trying to get the Statement of Objects for passing the NDPS bill of 1985.Perhaps it was done because of some international pressure. Today the international attitude towards ganja (marijuana) is fast changing. Taking into cognizance of the benefits of ganja (based on numerous studies and findings) we need to change our approach too.
Some intellectuals may argue that it is not the right time to legalize ganja keeping in view the low literacy level in the country. Let me remind them that many Doctors who are drug addicts or abusers; what I am trying to say is that the literacy level has nothing to do with drug abuse or addiction. For instance the literacy level of the United States of America is very high and at the same time the menace of drug addiction is also equally very high.
Recently Uruguay has legalized the sale and purchase of Ganja; of course consumption also. It is a move in the right direction. Half of the United States of America has already approved the use of ganja as medicine and as well as for recreation. Don’t tell me the USA is morally debauchery and culturally debased.
We are a great civilization which is as old as time immemorial. Our civilization started long long ago and nobody knows how long ago. Our ganja culture is probably as old as Mahadev, the lord of the downtrodden, disfigured, helpless, homeless beings. I am a great fan of Him, because He is powerful and not corrupt; He is absurd but benevolent; He lives in the mountains but He is adored by all who live in the palaces; He is carefree but does justice. To ban a substance dear to Him for such a long time is unjustified because ganja is certainly a soft drug and its medicinal utility is far more valuable than its intoxicating puff.
Treating ganja as a hard drug and made it an illegal substance since 1985 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act is showing disrespect to Lord Shiva, the leader of the common (proletariat) masses and to His innumerable wretched followers. Perhaps there was a bourgeoisie/capitalist conspiracy to annihilate ganja culture and economy which was closely linked with poor mountain dwellers and Shiva-devottees. If this government (Centre/State) can’t legalize ganja whose government will do? Trusting the representatives of Kasi(Viswanath) and (Ebudhou) Marjing let us yell together “Jai Bholenath”!
Source: The Sangai Express