Welcome to the 30th edition of The Kush, our weekly newsletter that focuses intently on cannabis, business, technology and public policy narratives around the world. Narratives that will have an impact on all of us in ways we probably cannot understand as of now. Irrespective of our socio-economic background and cultural values that we know and believe in, it is prudent to reason that societies change all the time; the only difference being some do so faster. Winds of change are everywhere. Chaos and confusion are permanent fixtures. Madness is guaranteed; mediocrity is not.
Let’s start blazing.
India Today’s “Mood” Poll Duly Noted
The India Today ‘Mood’ of the Nation poll results with regards to the legalization of recreational cannabis in India has been released.
Before we go ahead we need to understand the methodology of the poll. As per them the poll was “conducted by market research agency Karvy Insights between January 3, 2021, and January 13, 2021. The poll has traditionally been done through face-to-face interviews. However, in this edition of the survey, due to the unprecedented situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mixed methodology was adopted—50 per cent face-to-face and 50 per cent telephonic interviews — using a standard structure questionnaire which was translated into regional languages. A total of 12,232 interviews were conducted—67 per cent in rural and 33 per cent in urban areas—spread across 97 parliamentary constituencies and 194 assembly constituencies in 19 states— Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.”
So there were 12,232 interviews with people.
The poll results are as follows:
- 55% of the people were “against” legalization of recreational cannabis
- 36% of the people were “in favour” of legalizing consumption of recreational cannabis
- 89% of the people “felt drug addiction was a serious problem in the country”
While the number of respondents for the poll weren’t many – 12,232 to be exact; it is prudent to remember that this poll was a poll for the legalization of recreational usage of cannabis. At least India Today had the sense to clarify this part, unlike the Times of India which went ahead and did a generic ‘cannabis legalization’ debate by pitting one doctor against another. While such an exercise is appreciated, the poll, over a period of time ought to get bigger and bigger in terms of the number of people who can give their responses in an independent manner. Respondents should also be guided to read and understand the facts of reality. about cannabis in India; something no one covers in a rational manner (we’re trying to do that).
The result that is the most troubling is this – 89% of the people “felt drug addiction was a serious problem in the country”. The main issue with such statements is that people do not quantify “serious problem in the country” by searching for them. We’ve already highlighted that subjective arguements like “a serious drug problem” are lame and false when recreational use of cannabis is placed in context of the wider fundamentals of our economy. This is the main point about cannabis in India we think: a misinformed alternate reality that’s disconnected from science and economics.
Let’s keep blazing.
Cannabis Cuts Across All
The plant has multiple aspects and it targets everyone – it can impact health and wellness in the form of food, beverage and medicine; it can be better than cotton; it cuts across religious and spiritual themes; its usefulness must be captured by legal economics; but most importantly its potential impact on agriculture and chronic diseases is gargantuan once translated into numbers, a framework can be built to make the plant’s products accessible to as many as possible. Recreational use of cannabis in terms of its smokable form currently hogs the most attention but this is a very narrow, limiting view.
Words like ‘Sustainable’, ‘Diversity’ and ‘Community’ are routinely associated with cannabis by default. Modern capitalism has finally just about caught onto cannabis and the onus is up to the men and women who wish to use the plant; to incorporate ethics and values into their organizations in what is a still very small and nascent market for cannabis products. Again, remember this: the smokable form of cannabis is the most attention grabbing, but make no mistake, it will not remain so. The practical uses are just too many. Currently as of this writing, it can only be seen to the people who want to see it and use it. Once a significant number of individuals stake their place in the market; expect the bandwagon jumpers to come in on the action.
Let’s keep blazing.
Are you a Cannabis Idealist?
The feedback we’re received on our website has been clear for a while now.
A majority of the people whom we know personally and professionally seem to harbour a narrow view about cannabis in the sense – that looks at it only from a recreational point of view; exactly like recreational alcohol, recreational tobacco, recreational cocaine, recreational heroin, recreational pharma opioids and so on. Almost none of our circle is looking at the bigger picture; the fact that the cannabis plant can be an active part of the worldwide commodities, consumer and healthcare markets. We completely understand why and that is why we decided to make sure that the language in our website and newsletters retains a sense of the broader economy and socio-culturo-politico elements. If we don’t do that, general readers would be in a possible info bubble and continue going about cannabis only from the recreational, smokable point of view
Let’s keep blazing.
Have a great day 🙂