Article: India’s cannabis law is nonsensical, it’s time for ‘Big Bhang’ reform


The discussion is beginning to start in India. Here’s a recently published article in  “The Print” Cannabis is integral to India. So, the big question is: Why don’t we legalise and tax it like alcohol and tobacco? egend has it that the shade of a tall cannabis plant once brought Lord Shiva relief from the blazing sun. Curious, he chewed some of its leaves and felt so invigorated that he adopted its usage—hence the use of cannabis in Shiva worship. The plant and its forms are known by various names around the world—marijuana, Mary Jane, weed, pot, hemp, and grass. In fact, there are more than 1,000 slang terms for the humble cannabis, a plant that can be used in various forms. But in India, its most common avatars are the trinity of bhang, ganja, and charas. Bhang is a paste derived from grinding cannabis leaves and stems together, while ganja—or weed—is more potent and made from dried flower buds of the plant. Charas, the most intoxicating among the three forms, is a resin that is obtained by rubbing cannabis flowers for hours; the longer the better. It is often called hashish. The Nizari Isma’ili militants of 11th century Persia smoked it, hence the term hashishin, which is the etymological root of the word ‘assassin’. Cannabis is integral to Indian culture The earliest reference to cannabis is contained in the fourth book of the Vedas, the Atharvaveda, which refers to it as one of the “five kingdoms of herbs that release us from anxiety.” Its uses are also mentioned in the Sushruta Samhita and the Bhava Prakasha. A reference in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini reinforces the view that cannabis was known to Indians even 2,300 years ago. During the 10th century CE, it was called the ‘food of the gods’. Around 500 years later, its virtues were listed as astringency, heat, inspiration, and the capacity…

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Source : Article: India’s cannabis law is nonsensical, it’s time for ‘Big Bhang’ reform

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