By Deepshikha Agarwal
As India took a step back and re-criminalized homosexuality (as per article 377 of the Indian Penal Code), other parts of the world seem to be moving forward! Other than New Year, residents in Colorado had more to celebrate as marijuana or cannabis was legalized not only for medical purposes but also for recreational use!!!
Uruguay was the first state to make the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis entirely legal. In the US, the states of Colorado and Washington have followed suit, putting in place the regulatory systems needed for the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis by private citizens.
The justification given for the same is consumption of marijuana will replace consumption of alcohol which is considered to be far more dangerous and destructive by most measures. Marijuana use has positive attributes, such as its medical value and use as a recreational drug with relatively mild side effects. Many people use marijuana because they have made an informed decision that it is good for them, especially Americans suffering from a variety of serious ailments. Marijuana provides relief from pain, nausea, spastic-ism, and other symptoms for many individuals who have not been treated successfully with conventional medications.
These are not the only reasons for officials to welcome legal weed. Hefty excise and sales taxes will boost state coffers.
Legalization of marijuana is considered to have a net positive effect and I personally don’t see anything wrong in it (considering it will replace alcohol). Also, it is supposed that eating or smoking marijuana brings genuine pleasure to millions of adults. It relaxes the muscles and the bones but still leaves one with total clarity if consumed in the right amounts and in a world so competitive where we hardly have time to breathe, how can one say no to pleasure and relaxation?
Besides, we see teenagers and adults drowning themselves in alcohol just because most of them want to escape the tensions and problems just for a little while. Isn’t it better to do the same in a less dangerous way??
However such a measure has been taken only in the West. In India it wouldn’t be possible to imagine such a change, would it?
Just two months back we all heard about the article 377 and there was a whole lot of drama relating to the same. We have laws against consumption of alcohol so drugs are a complete ‘no no’! (Yeah you can still get raped and nothing but drama would be done regarding that. But you get sloshed for pleasure? Tsk tsk)
However coming back to the US, some are worried about the negative effects that this measure is going to have – over consumption. Some non-takers could also be tempted to take up the habit now that they need not deal with intimidating criminals in dark alleys; others may get high more often. The ill effects include cognitive impairment and a risk of dependency. Some have also criticized it for it may send the wrong message to the nation’s youth and may lead to serious health and social problems.
So best thing to do would be to wait around and see how the legalization of marijuana shapes the near future.
Also we Indians can wait and hope that someday even India will take steps to roll back unjust laws and make new just laws !!!
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.