We Indians just keep on rolling, don’t we?
And this has been established officially now! Delhi and Mumbai ranked among the world’s top 10 cities with the highest rates of cannabis consumption per year, according to a study conducted by ABCD, a Germany-based data-driven media campaign and Seedo, an Israel-based firm that sells devices to grow weed at home.
While Delhi ranked 3rd in the list with a total consumption of 38.3 tons of weed in a year, Mumbai came at the 6th position at 32.4 tons. Interestingly, despite it being illegal here, the consumption of weed in Delhi in one year was ten times that of Amsterdam which came at the 56th rank with a consumption of 3.6 tons even though pot is legal there!
Cheap prices may be a reason as to why cannabis consumption is so high in India. ABCD found that the average price in Delhi is Rs. 315 per gram and Rs. 329 per gram in Mumbai, making them the tenth and eleventh cheapest rates in the world, respectively, per gram.
ABCD pushes for the global legalisation of cannabis. To support the cause of their campaign, the 2018 index included the kind of tax revenue cities and countries could attain if they taxed weed the way they tax cigarettes. And the results were highly astonishing! Delhi could see an additional $101.2 million (approx. Rs 725 crore) to its annual tax revenue. Similarly, Mumbai could raise $89.38 million (Rs 641 crores). All that money!
In India, the cannabis plant grows openly in hilly regions, making it fairly accessible to users. However, its cultivation and trade are partially restricted. The country is also home to one of the most expensive varieties of hashish. But while India allows the cultivation of cannabis for industrial purposes (such as hemp that is used to make fibre), its recreational consumption could lead to a jail term of six months or a fine of Rs 10,000, whereas illegal production and cultivation can lead to a jail term of up to 10 years.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, conversations around legalising the consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes for now have been gaining grounds in India. For instance, a member of parliament pushed to legalise marijuana, citing the benefits of consuming weed in 2015. Even though it is criminalised now, weed continues to be sold, purchased and consumed throughout the country. And so, we can only hope that the efforts made towards legalising pot in India yields some ‘high’ and fruitful gains for us!