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The human race has come a long way in the evolutionary struggle for existence aided by pursuits in arts and sciences. The primal urges of man have always been fuelling these pursuits enabling the creation of the avant-garde landscape of culture where we believe ourselves to exist. This cosmopolitan epoch that we exist in has revealed to us how nature has been conniving and has indeed utilized our scientific pursuits to aid the extinction of our species.

The evolutionary tale of man would be incomplete without mentioning the evolution of India, or rather the evolution of India is an ultimate parody of the evolutionary chronicle of man. The evolution of India right from Harrapa to pre-colonial era up until the post-independence, post-emergency, post-Manmohanomics now, has displayed the conspicuous escalation of oppression of human urges and desires.

Observation reveals to us that institutionalization of our pursuits in all realms has sabotaged the interests of primal urges of man. This realization invoked reactions such as communism, human rights movement, feminism and contraception. The evolutionary tale of man would be incomplete without mentioning the evolution of India, or rather the evolution of India is an ultimate parody of the evolutionary chronicle of man. The evolution of India right from Harrapa to pre-colonial era up until the post-independence, post-emergency, post-Manmohanomics now, has displayed the conspicuous escalation of oppression of human urges and desires. This is evident from the irony between Khajuraho sculptures and the sanctimonious carnal norms of the present day. A major casualty of this regressing trend has been the cannabis plant.

I don’t intend to provide a mitigating discourse by highlighting on the medicinal uses or exemplify the religious use by Jushis, Hindus, Sufis and lately by Rastafarians. It is a fact that cannabis is widely used and desired for recreational purpose. I intend to impress upon you the momentousness of recreational need of the human being and its indispensability to the evolution of the human race. Human race endeavours for ultimately three enterprises which are all needs satisfied, all anxieties tranquillized and all boredom amused. Recreation plays a major role in each of this enterprise. I quote Friedrich Nietzche “For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.”

Cannabis has been assigned pejorative connotations of a lethal narcotic by the imperialist and later by the capitalist scholarship. The scientifically naïve common man associates use of cannabis to the image of addiction, overdose, irreparable mental damage and a potential stupor in future.

Cannabis has been assigned pejorative connotations of a lethal narcotic by the imperialist and later by the capitalist scholarship. The scientifically naïve common man associates use of cannabis to the image of addiction, overdose, irreparable mental damage and a potential stupor in future. It is to be noted that overdose or death owing to the use of cannabis has never been reported anywhere in the world throughout history. The very same capitalist scholarship that prohibits the use of marijuana promotes other recreational substances like alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine which have more severe health consequences that are reported globally. Another physiological ill effect assumed to be associated with cannabis is addiction.

There are at least three ways to measure addiction or dependence potential.

  1. One criterion is the “capture ratio.” That is, of the people who try a drug, what proportion of them will experience situations in which they use the drug despite their sincere intention not to? By this measure, tobacco would probably be ranked near the top, followed by methamphetamine, then cocaine.
  2. A different criterion would be the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not available. Alcohol, heroin and short-acting barbiturates (pentobarbital) get top billing by this standard.
  3. Another way is to assess how strongly the person wants to repeat the drug experience as a result of euphoria, confidence, sensuality, novelty, and so forth. Cocaine, opiates, and amphetamines are probably the most addicting drugs by this standard. Cannabis officially does not qualify to be addictive.

Another amusing fact is that the main psychoactive compound in cannabis tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) in an isolated form is used as a pharmaceutical drug in many countries in the name Marinol, which causes inconvenience and side effects to patients as opposed to using of cannabis which has been proven to be beneficial and free of side effects. The very same capitalist forces that were sceptical to the use of cannabis are being forced to re-evaluate their convictions and priorities owing to all these factors.

India has suffered from the harsh after-effects of colonialism in all realms and the imbroglio of the prohibition of cannabis is no different. India must identify the primal urge of the citizen, and respond, to conjure the avant-garde landscape of culture. We Need Weed.

 

S Unnikrishnan Nair
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