Kasol is one of the few places that cannot satisfy the spirit of an adventurer in a single visit. So, I went to the valley of magical mountains again in the 1st week of December,2016. I’ll skip straight ahead from the information about the beauty of kasol, malana being a unique tribe and descendants of Greek soldiers etc. On this trip, I met a lot of new people an airforce pilot, college final years, couple of Israelis and localities. It was 10 O clock in the morning and I was walking towards Chalal where I met a man who was in his mid-40s and looked like an experienced person with a lot of stories. Surprisingly, he was one of the officers who had worked with the Kullu drug division and had no problems with Charas. I was curious to know his view of point about the ongoing trends in kasol and he was pretty open with his stories. He told me that he had hiked in different parts of Parvati valley for months and smoked the best of Charas whereas half of the police officers are not able to complete the tough terrain. The major problem in these mountains is that of the incoming synthetic drugs such as LSD, heroin, cocaine etc from the other parts of India like Goa, Delhi and Punjab. There have been many missing person cases in these valleys due to the consumption of synthetic drugs. He had serious concerns regarding the increased usage and smuggling of synthetic drugs in rave parties and other social events. He said the Himachal Government would have never faced such issues if they had legalised the use of charas. Most parts of Himachali Population are making money through tourism, apple farms and some other exotic crops. But Himachal and other mountain regions are sitting on a gold mine of Charas and marijuana. And the crazy part is that some of the varieties such as malana cream are being sold as 3 times the price of gold in foreign countries. Well I believe that it won`t be surprising for Indians to know that, we already have a long history of cannabis use which has also been mentioned in Vedas and other sacred texts. The Vedas mentioned that cannabis is a source of joy, happiness, losing fear and helps in anxiety. It is also known as favourite plant of lord Shiva who became the Lord of Bhang.
In late 1890s, under British rule a commission was formed to conduct a detailed survey based research on the effect of cannabis on health of the native people. The commission produced six volumes of data and concluded that cannabis has an ancient history among Hindus and is completely harmless. Instead they found out the alcohol is more harmful and moreover prohibition of cannabis will lead to increase use of narcotics. The research done by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission is 100% correct today. Isn’t it? https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-teenage-mind/201106/history-cannabis-in-india. I have explained it with an example in the following text but before that I want to focus on the importance of legalisation.
Why aren’t we legalising it? It shouldn’t be hard to learn from our history that has accepted cannabis since the Vedas period and moreover why are we not learning from western countries that have already legalised the recreational as well as medicinal use of cannabis. In one of the report published, it was found out that the Cannabis market could be worth $50 Billion by 2026. Are we waiting for getting marijuana products from USA just like they got patents and rights on NEEM AND BASMATI RICE. It’s time for the Indian Government to wake up before we lose this billion dollar call. This will be the most famous and popular MAKE IN INDIA product considering the demand Indian cannabis in INTERNATIONAL MARKETS.
Consider the example of Punjab which has been well documented in the movie UDTA PUNJAB. Half of Punjab youth is already struggling with narcotics addiction which is already spreading in Himachal Pradesh. I have seen school kids dealing with drugs openly and among a large percentage of unemployed youth. According to my conversations with youth in Himachal Pradesh the average salary of assistant professor or government employee is 20,000-25,000 who will be working on contract basis for 5 years before getting a permanent letter of appointment. Well that sucks. There are no jobs IT sector, management sector, construction jobs, real estate etc. in Himachal Pradesh and 60% of them are “no use Engineers”. We need to find some alternative and creative ways to create jobs in Himachal Pradesh and other mountain areas to create an additional source of income in addition to tourism. Well, one way is to grow native and exotic crops that can be cultivated at large scale with huge profits and demand in international markets such as wild strawberries, mushrooms, and most importantly Marijuana. Marijuana farming is going to create jobs and massive tax revenues (IN BILLIONS) that can be used to build schools, healthcare programs, hospitals, sustainable infrastructure and clean renewable energy systems etc.