Hi! Welcome to the 5th edition of Boomtown, our newsletter written and published every Friday at exactly 4:20 p.m. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. As of this writing, not only are we completely blazed out of our minds, but on a level bordering brotherhood and sisterhood, we feel as if our readers deserve to win as many intellectual arguments as possible. Not via emotions, but through logic and peace. For at the end of the day, peace is all we have.
Being Drug-Free is a Fantasy
Over the past few weeks we couldn’t resist but laugh at the arguments that were being put forth by people of all means and beliefs, many of them frivolous without being based in facts and logic. Over and over again these people kept saying the five sentences in one form or the other, as written down below –
- We want a drug-free India. Arrest Rhea C, she’s a witch
- Zero tolerance policy towards drugs, hang all drug users, they should die
- Cannabis users are dumb people, beat all people using drugs and arrest all of them
- Ban X, Ban Y, Ban Z, Ban A, Ban B, Ban C
- Punish them, jail them, hang them etc. etc. etc.
Sorry, but as the headline says, banning and prohibition of any substance has and will never work. And the reason is the first basic principle of economics. As long as there are buyers, there will be sellers – ban or no ban. When substances are prohibited, it creates a black market for the very substances the government intended to restrict in the first place. The best example for India is of course cannabis.
The ultimate verdict about cannabis is the fact that it gets unwittingly clubbed in with other synthetic drugs and secondly, its molecular structure is not known to the sober public. Because it’s cannabis’ molecular structure that causes human bodies to accept cannabis, while other substances tend to be alien to the human body. There are 3 crore people in India who use bhang, ganja and charas. These three substances are derived from the cannabis plant. And it’s the properties of the cannabis plant that lends credibility to it from a medicinal and recreational point of view.
Prohibition of cannabis has been a failure. We’ve only ended up jailing the poor and marginalized and drug enforcement agencies find their time wasted when they’ve more serious synthetic drugs to deal with, since India is sandwiched between the world’s two largest drug corridors.
For the Sober Public, in short, the below five reasons are why a Drug-Free Nation is impossible to achieve, it would be better to just legalize cannabis:
- If there are buyers who will pay, sellers will always rise to the occasion. Who would you prefer buying from? An authorized seller with good, hygienic practices or unreliable peddlers who might as well compromise on their users’ health and adulterate cannabis, compromising users’ health in the process?
- People consume drugs because of a variety of reasons (from psychological issues to social belonging), not because they want to turn into terrorists.
- Prohibitionist policies all over the world have not worked. They only ended up putting innocent users in jail while the big and powerful continued as usual. This is similar to the first point
- Drug users are not evil people. They are normal human beings driven to different circumstances because of their individual physical and mental issues. They need to be helped, not shunned. It is precisely because they’re shunned that they cannot seek the help they need
- Being sober is not a virtue that sober people can hang their heads aloft. Sober or not sober does not make any difference. If someone is talented, he or she is talented. If someone is not, they are not. Substance use has nothing to do with each individuals’ choices and wants. No one can force anyone to obey something they don’t want to.
Let’s keep blazing.
Stats, Sense and India’s Narcotics Culture Out the Closet.
We make no qualms about the fact that we like cannabis as being one of humanity’s oldest cultivated crops for medicine, nutrition and clothes. It is just very useful. It is so useful it’s weird to think as to why many people are even afraid of it when human beings are already using substances everyday that are already far worse than cannabis.
It’s crazy really. But we are prepared for what may come. We are secure in the knowledge that we possess and we already know all the arguments naysayers are going to use against cannabis. We have logical reasons for everything. They’re so logical that we get high just thinking about them.
A few minutes ago, after going through what felt like an incredible amount of information being written about cannabis in India because of Rhea C’s arrest, we stumbled upon an article written by Praveen Swami for Firstpost, in what is probably one of the most logical articles we’ve ever read about cannabis in India.
“The one good thing that could come of the Rhea Chakraborty case is that it could bring debate on India’s narcotics culture out of the closet. Each year, the war on drugs Imperial Britain began, and Independent India has ferociously pursued, claims the lives of tens of thousands of young people. Many of those lives, data from around the world teaches us could be saved by decriminalisation”
“The mind-altering properties of drugs have been used for a welter of medicinal and recreational purposes, embedding them in many ancient cultures. The Atharva Veda recorded cannabis as one of five great plants which might “deliver us from woe”. Even today, Delhi residents have to travel no further than the Shiva Temple near Nigambodh Ghat, or the Nizamuddin Dargah, to see the living form of this drug culture. We can only imagine what might happen if the Uttar Pradesh Police sought to evict marijuana from the Kawariyas’ yatra”
“Like the ladies of the Calcutta zenana, who in fact used cocaine to relieve dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, or the working-class Delhi men who were found by the colonial health administrator AW Overbeck-Wright to using it to delay orgasm in 1920, millions of Indians have participated, and still participate, in a sophisticated — if secret — drug culture”
Wow. And there’s more. We’re literally tripping on this new-found fact. Let us repeat: this article is literally the most insightful article about India’s narcotics scene, and it’s not even that long. We strongly urge people to read it. Here’s more from it below.
“Ever since 1985, when then-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s government enacted the now-notorious Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, successive governments have sought to break the butterflies inside users’ minds on the wheels of the criminal justice system. The effort has been gargantuan: In 2018, the last year for which figures have been published, a staggering 63,137 cases were registered under the Act, 38,175 of them involving personal consumption, rather than trafficking. To get a sense of the huge criminal justice resources this effort consumes, there were, 29,017 cases filed for murder, 33,506 for rape and 30,822 for robbery”
“In 2018, over 67 percent of NDPS trials concluded ended in a conviction — compared with just 27.1 percent of rape cases, or 26.6 percent of murder cases. Legal expert Tripti Tandon has noted many face “harsh and disproportionate sentencing”, but the tide of incarceration is achieving nothing. In large swathes of the country — most well known among them, Punjab, but also Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur and many others — ever-larger numbers of young people are using synthetic drugs, or misusing prescription medication”
India’s drug laws are useless and need to be updated. They are achieving nothing.
Let’s keep blazing. Have a great weekend 🙂