Make cannabis consumption legal; ban is turning people alcoholic: BJD chief whip Tathagata Satpathy

In March this year, the MP won many young fans with a social media conversation in which he not only admitted having smoked pot when younger but also told youngsters how to get it in his state.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi | Updated: December 11, 2015 9:21 am
Tathagata Satpathy, BJD, cannabis in india, marijuana in india, marijuana legalization, cannabis legalisation, lok sabha Tathagata Satpathy, the BJD’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha, called for legalisation of cannabis consumption

Tathagata Satpathy, the BJD’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha, called for legalisation of cannabis consumption Thursday. It was not the first time the four-time MP has made this pitch, having done so on TV as well as during the previous monsoon session. His argument in the Lok Sabha Thursday was that banning cannabis consumption has led to increase in alcoholism.

“In the villages of my constituency, old people, venerable people used to smoke marijuana… natural marijuana. Today, by imposing ban on natural substances, which people have been using for ages, from the time of Lord Shiva, we have actually forced a lot of these people to move on to alcohol,” Satpathy said.

“Bhang was a very common intoxicant in the holy city of Puri. You could get it on the roadside. It was legally available there. It is available in Varanasi also. You have made it illegal and it has been replaced by alcohol.” He also connected rising alcohol consumption to rising crime rate.

In March this year, the MP won many young fans with a social media conversation in which he not only admitted having smoked pot when younger but also told youngsters how to get it in his state. In a subsequent interview, Satpathy described the ban on cannabis consumption as “elitist”, brought in during the 1980s allegedly under US pressure, and argued for its legalisation for recreation.

Satpathy also spoke against the “piecemeal bans” on alcohol consumption in various states, a subject on which he got support from many MPs including those of the Shiv Sena.

Satpathy said arbitrary bans on alcohol had led to the rise of an alcohol mafia and unnecessary harassment of people, particularly the young. “Have bans actually helped bring down alcohol consumption? The brightest example is the Gujarat model. The state has been dry since the 1960s, but alcohol is available in every nook and corner of the state… It is the duty of the Centre to tell states not to ban alcohol,” Satpathy said.

Anandrao Adsul (Sena) said alcohol bans led to loss of revenue and hooch tragedies.

The comments were made during a discussion on passage of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Bill that aims to hand over regulation of potable liquor to state governments.

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  1. C
    Chaman Lal-JNU
    Dec 11, 2015 at 7:50 am
    Patiala MP Dr. Dharamvir hi is of the same opinion. Tathagat is son of former Odisha chief Minister Nandini Satpathy. Sensible suggestion!
    Reply
    1. H
      Hindu Reader
      Dec 11, 2015 at 9:58 am
      Just put this as in the prison bar fromserving any food and just feed him this canabis let him rot to die
      Reply
      1. A
        Arun
        Dec 11, 2015 at 2:52 am
        Unadulterated cannabis are in fact good for human beings, provided it is used orally and the consumption is within the limits the body can take.
        Reply
        1. R
          Rajesh
          Dec 11, 2015 at 7:48 am
          A very sensible proposal. The biggest thing that many dont seem to understand is that drug use is not a criminal problem, it is a health problem. If I said anyone addicted to alcohol or tobacco should be thrown in jail, people would say that was foolish. Jail doesnt cure addiction. In fact, it will put a non-violent addict in access to hardened criminals. Drug abuse requires treatment and rehab. Besides which, drugs are a major source of black money, funding for terrorism, a waste of police and court time, and can instead be turned into a source of revenue. A legal drug shop can ask for ID and make sure the drugs are not adulterated with dangerous substances. A street dealer will happily sell adulterated drugs to a 5 yr old if he can make some money.
          Reply
          1. B
            Biltu
            Dec 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm
            THIS IS A BRAVE AND SENSIBLE MAN. CANNABIS IS FREELY AVAILABLE IN INDIA. TAX IT HEAVILY AND SELL IT LEGALLY.
            Reply
            1. P
              PKR
              Dec 11, 2015 at 7:41 am
              It will also fit in make in India policy. But being more cheaper more people will be addicted to it.Rajasthan has a limited legality of Bhang.Others states can try that.
              Reply
              1. J
                Jaspal Singh
                Dec 11, 2015 at 8:08 am
                Cannabis has been and should have been banned. In any case under the conditions of living in India it is easily available for free. Nobody can check it. Beer and wine with low alcohol content should be easily available at affordable rates. Desi hooch has to be effectively banned.
                Reply
                1. M
                  M.L.Gupta
                  Dec 11, 2015 at 7:02 am
                  He has expressed similar views earlier too. However, to destroy terrorism completely , opium cultivation and all other prohibited crops should be de-licensed and encouraged. Terror is thriving on smuggling of drugs.
                  Reply
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