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SHOULD INDIA LEGALIZE ORGANIC DRUGS

By

Kartik Sikri, V year of B.B.A.,LL.B. from Jemtec School of Law, Greater Noida (Affiliated to GGSIPU)


Well in India Organic drugs have a long history. It has been consumed by Indians for almost 5000 years, as in India the origin of drugs can be traced back to 1700 BCE. The drug is a substance which is mostly used in the mitigation, treatment prevention and cure of a disease but is also dangerous as people use it for one other purpose also, for its high.


Organic Drugs are the natural substances which are extracted from plants and animals, some of them are marijuana, heroin, cocaine and opium. If the drugs are abused by overdosed it causes adverse side effects and addiction for a person. However, all drugs are chemicals and hurt human beings' lives. So the longer a person consumes any chemical the more change will be caused.


Some types of Organic Drugs are

· Cannabis (marijuana)- Its popular names are resin or charas, it’s a concentrated variant of hashish/ hash. When the leaves are dried up that is called ganja. Marijuana is also made from these leaves only, negative side effects are memory loss, lethargy, anxiety, slow reaction time.


· Coca leaves (cocaine)-It is the most abused organic drug in India. It is mostly grown in South America. The end product is made by cement, battery acid baths and gasoline soaks, all are condensed with natural leaves to produce an illegal narcotic (Cocaine)


· Opium poppy (heroin) -It is popularly known as morphine or heroin. It has a long process of adding many dangerous chemicals, cooking and raw materials which end up making a very strong drug named heroin. It is super strong and quickly absorb from morphine and is the most intense use of opium

Legal Status of organic Drugs in India

Organic drugs in India are illegal. It has a long history back from 1961 it started where Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed which was the first international treaty which not only bans the organic drugs i.e. marijuana, opium poppy etc. but also imposed a ban on production, consumption and distribution, also restricting the use for medicinal purpose and research purposes.


Currently, India is a part of three United Nations drug conventions – Single Convention on Narcotic drugs (1961), -The Convention on Psychotropic Substance (1971), - Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and psychotropic substances (1988).


However, In India drugs like ganja, charas, bhang and marijuana have been consumed for a long time and it has now become a lifestyle in India. In this history India led many countries to produce cannabis and opium and opposed the measures taken internationally but the US induced them and other western countries to be part of the conventions and restrict the production and illegal trafficking of the organic drugs.


After 25 years of legal drugs which were being sold at normal retail shops, the Rajiv Gandhi Government enacted the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in 1985. This act makes the sale and production of drugs illegal and gives power to the state government to regulate. In various States, Cannabis is legal to cultivate such as Uttarakhand Marijuana is legal for industrial purposes. In states like Rajasthan Odisha bhang is legal to consume and it is even sold in government authorized shops.

Sudden Push in Legalization of marijuana/cannabis in India is due to the US which earlier pushed for the ban of drugs now legalizing the use of drugs in the USA.

Reasons Why Organic Drugs Should be Legalized

There are many reasons, social, political and economic benefits of legalizing Organic drugs in a phased manner so that there will be proper cultivation and sale of the drugs which do not harm the society: -


· Crime will be less and the streets would be safer

In a study of economists, a report found that legalization of drugs in California the crimes and violent activities have been reduced by 15 per cent, Homicides have an average drop of 10 per cent and murder have also almost dropped by 19 per cent. In India also the crimes will fall in many states like Punjab Assam and many other states if the drugs are legalized.


Due to Following reasons crime rise

The addicted people are ready to buy the drugs at a hundred times the cost price so it leads to crime as they have to steal money to satisfy their addiction to drugs.

The people purchasing or dealing in these things act like they are carrying the most valuable goods and they become targets for assaults.


Now if the drugs are legalized in India the crimes will be less and also the people will free safe on streets and home.

· Prison Overcrowding will be ended

It is a serious problem of prison overcrowding all over the world. The prison environment becomes more violent and dangerous to be handled. According to reports Indian prison occupancy rate has risen by 118 per cent in 2019 according to The prison Statistics of India Report India total capacity of prisoners is around 403700 but on 31st December 2019 Indian prisons registered around 478600 criminals which is beyond the capacity.


According to Report 97 per cent of cases in Mumbai are related to drugs. In 2017 2018 data. Out of 12945 cases in 2017, 12647 cases were directly involved in consumptions of drugs which 97.7 %.


If there is the legalization of drugs all over the nation the number of cases will be decreased related to drug abuse and black marketing of drugs will also be finished.


· Reduce Corruption all over the Nation

Usually, Police officers offer protection to a drug dealer in exchange for some commission or profit-sharing of the illegal drugs business which leads to corruption at the major level as police officers will not take action against the drugs and there will be a lot of crime and destruction. Many police officers get suspended every year due to this corruption practice. Legalization of drugs would eliminate this corruption and will also clean up the image of police officers in the nation. It will further also give relief to courts and other narcotics investigators to handle other cases thoroughly.


· Legal Drugs would be safer

It means that drugs would be legalized as pe the consumer protection issue. In other words, now the drugs are illegal there are no consumer safety features which are common in other products such as warning labels quality of the product, making it underground/illegal makes it more harmful as there is no safety measure for the consumer. Legalization would also promote consumer health and safety.


Economic Benefits of legalizing Organic Drugs

· Impact on Tax Revenue

Sales of marijuana in Washington and Colorado have collected around $302 million in taxes and fees on recreational and medical marijuana. If the drugs would be legalized then tax money is also saved as according to a report in interdicting the drug traffic alone cost around $6.2 billion in the USA. This money would be saved and will be used in other benefits in India. Otherwise more tax money will be invested in building up prisons and interdicting drug trafficking


· Income and Jobs

Legalization of drugs will lead to setting up of nurseries and dispensaries which will lead to jobs and employment in the country at a huge level. According to studies says that legalization of marijuana in the state could provide about 41000 jobs till 2024 and approx. $1,7 billion in labour income. The State of Himachal Pradesh produces approximately 60.000 kg of hashish and 40,000kg of opium yearly. Which means that if these get legal in India many farmers and other labours will get the job and will increase their income


· Investment Opportunities

After the legalization of drugs, there would be tremendous benefits to the local and national market. It will increase the investment opportunity within the nation which will help the Indian economy to rise and will also upscale the Indian GDP.

After ample pushback against the Idea of legalization of drugs across the nation, there is a lot of confusion among the law enforcement officers aiming to keep up with shifting regulations. There is also a concern about increased homeless people using drugs. Many reasons combine some are positive and some are negative. In my opinion with all the reasons which are negative which will affect the nation, the legalization will not happen soon any time.