1961 and 2020. It is Happening Again. Will it Happen Again?

The Kush

Hi! Welcome to the 9th edition of The Kush, our newsletter written specifically for Mondays and Tuesdays. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. Wherever you’re from, whenever you’ll read this, just remember one thing – our job is to demystify complicated narratives taking place all across the world today into simple language while your job as the reader is to make sense of the world around you, your own lifestyle and your own future. Rely on no one, except the strength of your own backs and the power of your own mind. 

Rely on no one.

Guard your independence. Have an original opinion. Always. Be. Original.  

Let’s get cracking. It is happening again. 

Substance Use Predictions for India

India stands at a crucial crossroads as of this writing. 

The country’s economy has bottomed out and there is no doubt that the nation cannot go any lower, and the only way is up. In short the country needs an urgent high, both short-term and long-term highs for an aspirational population that wishes to move on towards better things as soon as possible. Below are our predictions (and maybe, suggestions) for India in terms of using substances of a mind-altering nature: 

  1. Alcohol: will likely be the most consumed psychoactive substance in India, led by beer (especially micro-breweries in urban centres) and whiskies. The hop plants’ (used to brew beer) evolutionary relationship with cannabis (both cannabis and hops diverged from the same ancestor, the humulus) will likely drive beer drinkers towards cannabis as well, and vice-versa
  2. Cannabis: Micro-dosing (using cannabis for productive purposes like reading books or just simply coping up with work-place stress) of cannabis will likely surge led by a young, aspirational digital media friendly population who are likely to do their own research about all possible substances and arrival at the rational conclusion that cannabis is the substance that is the safest from a health and wellness point of view. Other factors like the imminent regulation of cannabis for medical and consumer applications will spur cannabis use in India this decade.
  3. Tobacco: cigarette sales will surge and then plateau by the end of the 2020s. As more and more awareness is raised about the relationship between excessive use of tobacco and related cancers, people will prefer turning towards safer alternatives like cannabis and beer. In fact, we predict that ITC, India’s largest cigarette maker will lobby the government to allow it to use cannabis extracts in limited quantities in its cigarettes.
  4. Magic Mushrooms, MDMA, LSD, Cocaine and Heroin: sales of these substances will rise till 2025, and then plateau, in a dramatic reversal, as India heads back towards its pre-1985 levels of synthetic drugs use. The legalization of recreational cannabis in some Indian states will ensure that potential users of harder drugs never get an opportunity to move ahead of natural plant-based psychedelics (one of which is Magic Mushrooms). India’s proximity to both the drug corridors – the golden crescent (Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan) and the golden triangle (Myanmar-Laos-Thailand) means that drug enforcement agencies like the Narcotics Control Bureau of India need to regulate cannabis towards the legal markets asap in order to focus on the harder synthetic drugs. Will it happen though?   

India already has a very long historical and cultural relationship with many plants for their health and wellness based properties. We predict that cannabis and magic mushrooms will join the Neem, Tulsi, Ashwagandha and Brahmi plants, into Indian homes (especially working-age millennials). 

Till then, let’s keep blazing.    

It all Started in 1961. Will it end in 2020? Or Will it Happen Again?

We just can’t stress this enough. 

United Nations’ member countries should make up their minds already, and say what exactly is it that they are so afraid of, when it comes to the cannabis plant? Can a member country please stand up and give a decent explanation about why exactly is it taking so much time for the United Nations’ Commission of Narcotic Drugs to accept cannabis’ rightful place in world history? 

To give readers some context, it all starts with 1961, the year when the United Nations (thanks, USA) decided to write down a law to regulate and control all the possible psychoactive substances which existed in the world of 1961, in the name of public health and safety.

Here’s 420 Intel, in what is one of the best-written (yet simple) cannabis-law articles we’ve ever come across.

What happened in 1961?

“The World Health Organization, through the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, is an office that can add, transfer, or remove drugs from within a specific scheduling class, of which there are four. Scheduling goes as follows:

  • Schedule I – Drugs that are considered addictive and with a high risk of abuse (including cannabis and heroin).
  • Schedule II Normally used medical substances with a low risk of abuse.
  • Schedule III – Preparations made from schedule II substances, as well as those that use cocaine.
  • Schedule IV – The most dangerous drugs listed in schedule I, considered particularly harmful and with little to no medical or therapeutic value. This also includes cannabis”

Then, ten years later, in 1971.

“In the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, a separate set of scheduling guidelines for different substances was made.

  • Schedule I
    – Substances with a high risk of abuse
    – which pose a major threat to public health, and
    – which have little to no therapeutic value.
  • Schedule II
    – Substances with a risk of abuse
    – which pose a major threat to public health, and
    – which have a low to moderate therapeutic value.
  • Schedule III
    – Substances with a risk of abuse
    – which pose a major threat to public health, and
    – which have a moderate to high therapeutic value.
  • Schedule IV
    – Substances with a risk of abuse
    – which pose a minor threat to public health, and
    – which have a high therapeutic value.

The main attributes (marked in bold above) that were made for psychoactive substances to judge the fuck out of them are:

  • Risk of abuse – high risk or just ‘a risk’ 
  • Pose a ‘threat’ to public health: major threat or minor threat
  • Therapeutic value: little to no value or low to moderate value or moderate to high value or high value

As per this classification, where should cannabis fall once we take into account the scientific knowledge of today? As per us Cannabis should be a substance that has:

  • A risk of abuse (high or low – depends on the user): because every substance in the world can be abused, from sweets to caffeine to social media, everything can be abused, admit it, and so can cannabis. It’s the ‘magnitude of abuse’ that varies from person to person, and even in this measure it is reasonable to say that cannabis is much safer than alcohol and tobacco
  • Does not pose a major threat to public health: on the contrary cannabis can be used as a medicine to heal people not destroy lives like alcohol, tobacco and synthetic medicines with side-effects. If the worst scenario of ‘threat’ is ‘death by overdose’, cannabis poses Zero threat to public health.
  • High therapeutic value: the science of medical cannabis is based on the endo-cannabinoid system present in human beings which is in-charge of regulating sleep, physiological function, mood, recovery and memory. This has already been proven and thousands of research articles have already been written. 

So in which schedule is cannabis placed today?

In Schedule I: which means that the United Nations says cannabis has a high risk of abuse, poses a major threat to public health and has little to no therapeutic value. 

Member countries of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs will meet in December, 2020 to reschedule cannabis as per the recommendations of the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2019. 

Will it happen again? 

Or will this unfair, backward, crooked scheduling of cannabis finally end?

Let’s keep blazing. Have a great day 🙂

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