India: Marijuana central to our culture, how is it illegal?

In all of recorded history, not one person has ever died from consuming marijuana, says a public interest litigation that objects to the ban on cannabis or marijuana in India, saying that the move is not backed by scientific evidence.

Marijuana should therefore be legalised in the country so as to help patients, says the petition filed by Aditya Barthakur, a 34-year-old lawyer.

Barthakur added that marijuana has several “benefits” including helping cancer patients by easing their pain.

A small, yet significant development in his case, the petitioner says, is the Bombay High Court’s recent issuing of notices to the Central and state governments.

Quoting from the Atharva Veda, he cites a verse, whose translation, he says, is: “To the five kingdoms of the plants which Soma rules as Lord we speak. Darbha, hemp, barley, mighty power: may these deliver us from woe.”

The lawyer says that the shloka includes,...

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