Why are weed and hash illegal in India, but not bhang?

by Newsfeed

There are only a few things in India that enjoy religious and cultural sanctions as much as the use of cannabis does. And yet, its consumption is illegal.

If the mainstream rhetoric around the alleged death by suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput is anything to go by, cannabis – or its resin (hash) and flowers (weed) – is the epitome of evil. The only paradox is that until 35 years ago, this view of the indigenous plant and its psychotropic by-products was not viewed as a crime. And Indians have been smoking up for thousands of years before that.

The association of cannabis with crimes, and by extension social stigma, is actually an import from the United States. Though India opposed the classification of cannabis alongside hard drugs during the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, it eventually…

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