Though he has declared that he’s never tried any sort of recreational drug, Shashi Tharoor is ‘convinced’ that regulating the production, supply and the use of cannabis in India will lead to a reduction of crime and corruption, and also provide an economic boost. In an interview with The Print, Tharoor explained why he thinks that the drug should be legalised in India.
Tharoor iterated that weed is by no means harmless. “While many people who use it will not experience serious harms, research suggests that it can trigger or exacerbate certain mental health issues for some people,” he told The Print.
Despite the potential risks of cannabis, Tharoor wants the production of weed to be regulated, instead of having it in ‘the hands of an unregulated criminal market.’ He wants cannabis to be sold by licensed vendors. He believes that imposing a tax on it could earn the country revenue and at the same time, the regulation will allow ‘cannabis buyers to know what they’re consuming and moderate their intake, in the same way, that a drinker can distinguish and choose between a whiskey and a beer.’
Tharoor cited examples of Canada, Uruguay and a number of US states which legalised cannabis to prove his point.
A large number of weed smokers use the drug for recreational purposes. For someone who wants to get the ‘high’ after smoking pot, money may not be a factor in their decisions. They may overlook the taxes they have to pay or even neglect the medical impact of the drug. Besides, even if marijuana is legalised, illicit trades may continue to flourish, albeit with varying qualities of the drug.
What do you think about legalizing marijuana in India?