Delhi And Mumbai On A Cannabis High
India’s capital Delhi ranks third while Mumbai ranks sixth among the top 10 cities in terms of cannabis consumption globally, according to a study conducted by ABCD, a data-driven media campaign in Germany.
The index was topped by New York City, followed by Karachi, New Delhi, Los Angeles, Cairo, Mumbai, London, Chicago, Moscow, and Toronto.
ABCD found that the average price in Delhi is USD$4.38 (Rs 315) per gram. In Mumbai, this number is $4.57 (Rs 329). The two cities feature the tenth and eleventh cheapest rates in the world, respectively, per gram.
In 1985, the government enacted the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act which ensured complete prohibition on sale and purchase of Ganja (marijuana) and Charas (hashish) in India. However, the substances had already been illegal in the country for over two decades because the Indian government had signed the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty in 1961.
Anyone who violates the NDPS Act may face rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of up to Rs.1 lakh for the cultivation of cannabis. While imprisonment of up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both in case of consumption/possession depending on the amount of the banned substance.
Image credit - Flickr
Yet, despite the stringent laws concerning marijuana and other substances, ‘bhang’ is being sold through government outlets openly in many states, even though it comes under the category of narcotics as it is a strong mind-altering substance. Bhang is so ingrained in our culture that it’d be impossible to completely illegalise it and it’s common to have a mixture of bhang with milk, known as ‘thandai’, during the Holi festival.
Cannabis has made controversial headlines in the last decade due to its medical benefits. Its global market is expected to reach USD 146.4 billion by the end of 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc.
In the ABCD study, it was also found that Delhi could see an additional $101.2 million (approx Rs 725 crore) to its annual tax revenue if it taxed weed the way it taxes tobacco. Similarly, Mumbai could raise $89.38 million (Rs 641 crores).
Canada legalised marijuana for recreational use in October 2018 after 95 years of prohibition. The U.S. legal marijuana market size was estimated at USD 7.06 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.9% from 2017 to 2025.