Chennai’s Traffic Police just wised up to ‘other’ varieties of intoxication. A story in the Indian Express magazine tells me that traffic police responsible for checking up on ‘drunken-driving’ will also now carry hard drug blood analysers around with them. The story claims that several accidents in the last years were put down as unidentified behavior or simply risky driving when the drivers in question were in fact strongly under the influence of cannabis.
The drug war has rather old origins. Like most welfare-state responses, In India too ‘Drugs’ are banned and substance abuse carries with it a heavy air of illegality, crime and such. “If you are one of the millions of perfectly normal, well adjusted people who use and enjoy cannabis….” The law deems you into a criminal liable for penalties snf convictions comparable to rape sentences. A recent study, by a Group a friend works for, came to the conclusion that Indian users are increasingly turning to the chemical counterparts of cannabis, far more addictive and damaging . Worse still due to non availability, strict surveillance and severe punishment users are turning to cruder forms of substance for highs. Some of these ingenious methods include Iodex on bread, multitudes of Saridons with Pepsi and a whole host scheduled H drugs including steroids.
One of the oldest and most appealing arguments to allow the legal use of cannabis is that it will automatically tip the balance towards soft organics and open up possibilities of implementing safety standards of use. Sure, our governments are fighting a ‘war on drugs’, one where we are the enemy. There is in fact nothing new about cannabis or alcohol for that matter in this country. ‘Shiva’, in Indian mythology can be seen rather clearly lighting a ‘chillum’, ‘Sura’- again is a crude form of alcohol. Modern legislation apparently has only made the situation worse. This site lists some history. Some form of racist legislation at the roots.
Our laws are prohibitive. Prohibition yet again, distrusts the vast sea of humanity to make its own decisions!