Ganja economics, Jai Bholenath!
Our Chief Minister loves ganja, I mean he wants to try ganja-business for economic upliftment of the people. It is not a bad idea. Bibek Debroy (economist) former member of Niti Aayog, has also invoked the same idea of commercialization of cannabis( broadly marijuana/ganja). Ganja plantation and its subsequent business will certainly bring about economic dividends; no doubt about it. But if the license to grow ganja and to do business is given to a few people, then the prosperity will remain restricted. For bigger and wider benefits the licenses must be extended to a large number of farmers and also to those people who know the potential of the plant . Will it be misused? Negative thinking won’t help. Lord Shiva never thinks negative that is why he gives all kinds of boons to his bhaktas. Om Namah Shivay ! please shower us with Dollars through your holy prasad.
Despite all claims our economy is still not strong enough. In Manipur we don’t have beggars and no one dies of hunger- this can’t be the reality of our economy . Things have changed drastically; today the number of daily wage earners and bread-winners have grown immensely. Unemployment is on the rise; agriculture remains stagnant; industrial growth is negligible; tourism remains lackluster .The worst part is, there has been a huge gap between income and expenditure over the years. How long shall we depend on loans and central assistance? Then what is to be done ? Resource mobilization from viable sources is only way out.
Commercialization of ganja as suggested by the CM is also one step to strengthen the state economy. Ganja can be cultivated and exploited for both medical and recreational purposes. A few states have started doing it for medical purposes; Uttarakhand is a good example. Countries like Canada and the USA have started doing big business with marijuana.
Many times I have expressed my views on the commercialization of local brew. It is high time to do away with the prohibition and also to encourage extensive commercialization of ‘Yu’. I believe the government is more than ready to do the needful as it is likely to generate huge employment and bring about unlimited economic opportunities. One Committee of the State Assembly is looking to various aspects of lifting the ban on manufacture, transport, sale and consumption of liquor. It is unwise to continue with the prohibition. Perhaps our patriotic health freaks are playing in the hands of vested interest.
Ganja(marijuana) business is an effective avenue for resource mobilization for the state as well as for the people. If I understand correctly ganja may be harvested from the cannabis Indica and cannabis sativa. Both these plants are abundantly and wildly found in many parts of the state particularly along the river-banks and hill-slopes. In our state cannabis Indica is more widely grown than cannabis sativa. Cannabis plants produce tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to ward off cattle and animals. Since these plants are not eaten by animals their growth and spread is unhindered. Some of our wisemen have been exploiting these plants through ganja channel. Many people are still growing cannabis unlawfully for illegal business.
Today, let us support the idea of legalizing the cannabis plantation and economic exploitation of ganja/marijuana. Under Section 10 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act the state government may permit plantation,production,possession,purchase,sale,transport, inter-state export or import of cannabis plants. Under this law the state of Uttarakhand has started commercialization of these plants. In a way they have legalized the cannabis business. As a result the state has earned enough revenue and at the same time many people got employment both directly and indirectly.
In no time the state government should legalize the cannabis plantation and commercial exploitation of the same in the similar line as the state of Uttarakhand had done . Believe me, now-a-days a large part of the civilized world has accepted marijuana/ganja as a substance of recreation and as well as of medicine. I don’t need to emphasize the recreational value of ganja because we have many experienced people around. But so far I haven’t heard that someone has died of ganja addiction/consumption in our state.
Medicinal use of ganja is appreciated all over the world; and recently marijuana has been extensively popularized by various science magazines globally.
The panacean ganja is often highlighted as - it increases appetite, stimulates sleep, kills pain, decreases anxiety, protects brain strokes, improves lung function, controls epileptic attacks, slows down progression of cancer & Alzheimer, induces non-violence. The last potent is extremely important for the disturbed areas like ours. We may try ganja before we legally revolutionize our local brew business (which will shake the world). Given a choice I still bet for ‘Yu’.