The Case For Medical Marijuana In India

Disclaimer: This post does not promote the use of recreational cannabis (marijuana) in any way. The purpose, as always is to educate and inform the complexities involved in making decisions that have a bearing on the lives of millions of individuals.

To invoke a bit of philosophy to begin with, India’s problems are unique and aren’t going to end anytime soon, but India can make it’s problems better. India is unique, a diverse nation which consists of men and women of every physique and mindset possible. Spread across, from north and south to east and west, India is a predominantly young country with almost two-thirds of its population under 35 years of age, that needs to set some examples and precedents urgently when it comes to medical cannabis. This requires a commitment to look beyond emotional reasoning and instead dwell on scientific, social and economic issues alone.’

This post is about the Indian healthcare system and its relevance for medical cannabis.

Cannabis, one of the five plants listed in the Vedas, is an essential part of the ancient plant-based Indian medical system called as Ayurveda, a holistic process of healing

The Problem

Like always, India needs to look at the west first, particularly the USA, where its pharmaceutical companies have orchestrated an opioid (synthetic drugs that contain opium, a narcotic drug) crisis by misleading the general public and its doctors through a systematic campaign of government lobbying, bribery and unscrupulous public relations firms which paid media outlets and their writers to blame the victims of their manufactured opioid drugs, drugs which were supposed to act as flag-bearers for the painkiller industry to alleviate the pain and suffering of millions. It turned them into addicts and victims because the fact is that the human body does not need synthetically manufactured opioid medicines.

Note: This post does not possess the scientific arguments required to question the nature of opioids. All we can claim is that synthetic opioids have claimed innocent lives in the name of mass manufactured medicine.

Its the same playbook again: the same companies, the same drugs, the same problems. Can India avoid the pitfalls that US patients faced to control the spread of mass produced opioids?

As we speak, there is an opioid crisis brewing in India and the same pharmaceutical companies are at it again. Facing crackdowns and lawsuits back home, these companies have already hooked a generation of Indians on opioids from every strata of Indian society, from upper classes who can afford to visit well-to-do clinics and doctors for their pain relief opioid prescriptions to lower castes who have to rely on chemists and pharmacies, often without prescriptions.

This post does not seek to place the blame on the government.

We have great laws, formulated with care, but who will enforce these laws? How will India implement its laws with regards to the opioid drugs menace, in a country where so many people are riddled with pains, back pains, neck pains, cancer pains, knee and joint pains and headaches? India’s medical education system does not produce enough doctors in line with our country’s burgeoning requirements and suffers from a lack of qualified doctors with respect to the number of patients.

What do we do?

The Solution

Indian Ayurveda focuses exclusively on plant-based medicines in varying formulations. An ancient process, the time has come to scientifically validate it and bring it to the masses.

Ayurveda. India’s ancient medical system relied exclusively on plant based medicines, one of which was cannabis infused medicines. India must learn from the wrongs of the west and give an impetus to a plant that has been a part of the country’s traditions for at least five thousand years.

Instead of focusing on the recreational aspects of the cannabis plant which is already being shepherded by the black market, India needs to wake up to the medicinal values of the cannabis plant. The current dispensation in power at the Central Government has always championed the cause of Ayurveda and Yoga, and the time is ripe for India to awaken and scientifically validate the medicinal properties of Indian cannabis. India is the birthplace of cannabis and we must use it.

With research on the human endocannabinoid system being validated, it is time for the Indian masses to realize that all their health panaceas and ills, plaguing their family members, relatives, friends and colleagues can be treated by medical cannabis. More than anything, its an humble appeal. If modern pharmaceuticals have been given a free reign over our lives like alcohol and tobacco, why not let the ancient cannabis plant get its fair due to scientifically validate itself and then let the consumers decide for themselves?

Long live, medical cannabis. Indian Doctors and Patients, Arise!

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