Why is Indian Police after Cannabis?

Disclaimer: This post does not promote nor condemn the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. The aim of this post is as always, to educate and inform our readers about the multiple narratives that shape the world as we know it.

India’s police force is one of the world’s weakest with just 144 policemen for every 100,000 citizens, way below the bare minimum of 222 per 100,000 citizens as per the United Nations (though how this figure was arrived at is not clear to me at the moment, I’ll have to check).

Our policemen are saddled with cases ranging from murder and homicide, robberies and burglaries, kidnappings and extortion, cyber-crime, white-collar fraud, sexual abuse, rapes, money laundering and other crimes of heinous nature. Not only are there more than 30% of all cases pending for investigation with the Indian police, but they’re also short staffed with the vacancy rate nearing 30% as of 2019. Its as if the government, the Indian police’s lead investor isn’t interested in building a better Indian police brand, because, according to a 2018 survey of 15,562 respondents across 22 states, the Lokniti team at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) found that less than 25% of Indians trust the Indian police highly (as compared to 54% for the Indian army).

If we add the smuggling and consumption of narcotic drugs into this overall picture, it is prudent to reason that Indian Police ought to be a stressed lot, in dire need of well-being, for their own health and wellness.

However, not all narcotic drugs are same.

Why is the Indian police wasting its precious time on chasing cannabis dealers and consumers, when the fact is that, human beings always have, and always will gravitate towards the substances that make them feel good, happy or full of adrenaline. Why is alcohol regulated and controlled? Why is tobacco regulated and controlled? Why are opioid medications regulated and controlled? Why are industrial effluents spewing exhaust smoke and waste into water bodies regulated and controlled? The fact is that humanity has been tolerating much worse substances than cannabis for ages, yet why do we have a problem with regulating cannabis in India? People have died because of the other substances for god’s sake.

It is impossible to prohibit the growth of a plant in the Indian landscape which grows as abundantly as cannabis does. Then why are Indian policemen and policewomen intent on destroying cannabis plants, when there will always exist a market for its usage? I feel sad to say this, but dear cops, all your efforts are being wasted when your efforts are needed somewhere else. Not only are Indian cops being taken for a ride here, but so are its consumers. In an unregulated market, where there is no incentive to build and grow a better product, a majority of recreational users continue to use adulterated versions of cannabis (just like spurious alcohol)

An often common argument against the regulation of cannabis for recreational usage (medical use of cannabis is another topic. India has a great chance to put its name on a global medical cannabis market), is that overnight, hordes of young men and women would queue up to get themselves high and wild. But this argument is not right, because firstly, just like alcohol, the prices of well-grown cannabis will go up, due to which these young men and young women will not be able to blaze themselves silly for every day of every year because they need the money for other things as well like eating and drinking. Secondly, these young men and women, in charge of their own futures are more likely to focus on being productive, which they already do anyway, since they are already accessing cannabis from the black market, albeit at lower prices and lower quality.

Thirdly, it is prudent to say that humans have the potential to abuse anything. Under the assumption, that someone gets addicted to consuming cannabis recreationally, don’t we as humans already feel attached to certain things at one point or the other in our lives? Personally, I have been addicted to sweets, which is dangerous because sugar is the sweetest, smiling killer out there at the moment. I have also been addicted to Facebook and Instagram, and trust me, there have been days when I have just spent my time endlessly scrolling without learning anything of use.

The point I want to make is, humans can abuse anything. All we have to make sure is that we consume the right amount of everything, real or virtual. In short, Indian police is wasting its time barking up the wrong tree. If recreational cannabis is regulated, their efforts will find a better place to be. To conclude, I think people need to be educated about what cannabis really is, the fact that both the human body and the cannabis plant possess biochemically similar compounds and other matters pertaining to its history and relevance to the human race from a practical point of view, like how its seeds are one of nature’s most nutritious sources.

In short, Indian Cops are after cannabis dealers and consumers to make a quick buck. I am pretty sure that a majority of them know that its not the same as alcohol, tobacco and the harder, synthetic drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine, which have a much propensity to be abused. Compared to these substances, cannabis is like a bystander caught with the wrong people at the wrong time. Cannabis has been unlucky, so to speak. Sorry, cannabis.

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