Welcome to the 16th edition of Boomtown. If you’re reading this for the first time, welcome to Boomtown. We’re tripping as usual and it’s another Saturday, another weekend to blaze ourselves to splits, while laughing at the world around us amidst a pile of emotions that range from one extreme to another, encompassing things like violence and fraud to positivity and hope. We live amidst a world of polar opposites, with minds pitted against minds, ideally to coordinate together and make things better for everyone, although this simple process sounds easy and isn’t. It needs the right surroundings to work.
Let’s start blazing.
Beware of the Mediocre
A deluge of information ought not to make things more complicated. They ought to make lives simple. Everyone wants simple lives, free of negativity, composed only of material wealth and a healthy mind-body; seldom do they get what they wish for, for our own biological selves are evolution’s imperfect machine, requiring all sorts of maintenance and upgrades from time to time (exactly the same as ‘non-living’ machines and software, though we’re making them ‘smart’. We’re smart beings after all).
From one thing to the next, oh, let’s keep moving on and on. And let’s do our own research to know what we want, rather than voicing out someone else’s thoughts, ideas and opinions. Originality is what we seek.
Let’s keep blazing ahead.
Thank you USA, thank you NDPS 1985
Just mere days after the ‘rescheduling’ of cannabis from Schedule IV (one of the ‘most’ controlled substances) to Schedule I (one of the ‘lesser most’ controlled substances) at the 63rd convention of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs at the United Nations meeting, by its 53 member nations; lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives (like India’s Lok Sabha) voted to remove cannabis from the Schedule I of its Controlled Substances Act by 228 votes for to 164 votes against; thereby allowing its state governments to do whatever they wanted with regards to medical or recreational cannabis, having already promised in July that the federal government (like India’s central government) would not interfere in the state governments’ business on its own (via intelligence agencies) or via the judiciary.
To be clear, this is the first step. The Act’s main provisions as per us, is the removal from record, of all arrests made for possession and consumption of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes; ensuring financial institutions can fund cannabis businesses legally; and tax collected can be used for rehabilitation of affected communities, predominantly people affected by racial discrimination.
The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, as the bill is called needs to clear the United States Senate (like India’s Rajya Sabha, the ‘upper’ house) which is majorly controlled by the Republican Party, while the United States House of Representative is majorly controlled by the Democratic Party, which is where this bill was passed now. On the other hand, more than two-thirds of Americans have already voted for the legalization of recreational cannabis and medical cannabis for their respective states. Therefore, the Upper House should also ideally pass the MORE Act into permanency. Their own voters have voted for it.
The UN Vote (by the US) and the US House Vote
In the UN vote, the United States’ spokesperson said that “The vote of the United States to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the Single Convention while retaining them in Schedule I is consistent with the science demonstrating that while a safe and effective cannabis-derived therapeutic has been developed, cannabis itself continues to pose significant risks to public health and should continue to be controlled under the international drug control conventions.”
Also, “The treaties give significant flexibility to allow Member States to design drug control policies that reflect their national realities,” the country added. “We believe the Member States are capable of determining for themselves what should be considered a ‘pure’ cannabidiol preparation for domestic enforcement purposes, based on analytical capacity, abuse liability, and prioritization of prosecutorial resources.” Words couldn’t have been spoken more clearly. Words are susceptible to be interpreted differently by different people based on their life’s own important experiences.
In their own country, on the other hand, their own people have gone ahead and voted in favour of both medical and recreational cannabis in their respective states. Something still does not click here. Why would the country’s people’s choices not be in sync with the country’s international stance? We do not know how things go about in international diplomacy and policy making. It would be better if countries like India not pay much heed to international conventions with regards to ‘control’ of cannabis, because we do not need to, and our local realities are different. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has already asked if the United Nations is still relevant, 75 years after its founding, albeit for different reasons, nothing related to cannabis policy.
India’s NDPS Act, the law that governs cannabis in India, literally says as given in the below pictures.
The summary is this: the Indian law already allows state governments to make their own cannabis policies. But it is not detailed out completely, in the sense that there are no frameworks for how government bodies – like the State Excise Departments, the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Forest Department, the Food Standards and Safety Organization of India, the Agricultural, Textile Ministries (since cannabis is also a cash crop and can be used to make clothes, edible oil, protein powder, animal feed etc.), the Drugs Controller General and the AYUSH ministry – should deal with each other with regards to cultivation, processing, packaging, distribution, testing, sales, storage and marketing of products made from cannabis.
Let’s keep blazing ahead. Have a great day 🙂