Marijuana or ganja is an Indian word for a plant that was found along the Ganges river bank that was growing for thousand of years.
It is believed that marijuana is a native plant of Central and Southern Asia. It’s native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Kazakhstan, and parts of Russia.
Marijuana was criminalised in order for alcohol to prosper. After understanding the commercial value of that plant, it was only in 1986 that the United States started to take a different position.
The Americans placed so much pressure on India to criminalise the use of the ganja plant, which was very difficult due to its cultural use in almost every function in India , as well as a sacred plant in the Hindu Indian garden.
Marijuana was used by the Hindu people for thousands of years for their daily rituals, which was intrinsically linked to their religious practices.
It was not easy to finally give in to the pressure that was place on them to make the use of marijuana production illegal.
On the other hand, marijuana was also used for thousands of years by Chinese emperors. Ganja was used in almost every cultural ceremonial display in India.
After the British left India in the mid-nineteenth century, they began to import hundreds of tonnes of marijuana from India until they told India that India should remove it from their books as a psychotic drug.
Today experts have said that marijuana is an herb and it is not psychotic. There was that mentality that you will get mentally ill from smoking marijuana. But research has shown this claim to be erroneous.
However, many countries today are seen and becoming more conscious of the multitude of medicinal value of this wonder herb which has so many healing properties.
More and more scientists throughout the world are showing a heightened awareness of the wide range of medical use of that plant.
Many states within the United States have already taken the lead in decriminalising the use of marijuana. Today we are witnessing that even the Caribbean is now trying very hard to not just decriminalise it but also some Caribbean heads of government are desperate about legalising it.
Jamaica has already gone ahead and passed legislation whereby their citizens can now start carrying a certain quantity of marijuana without being harassed by the police.
It is a long struggle taking into consideration how many persons were prosecuted for a roach, or a joint thus contributing to the backlog of cases in the court house and wasting precious time.
The great Jamaican reggae singers have long predicted that this herb will be legalised not just in the Caribbean but throughout the world – people like Peter Tosh and Bob Marley.
Today, their dreams are slowly coming to pass. Research has shown that marijuana can’t kill any one but alcohol has claimed the lives of thousands of drinkers, and is also responsible for some of the most heinous crimes committed by man.
It is also known as the chief agent for social disorder due to things like drunk driving and domestic violence in families.
Marijuana or ganja was introduced to the Caribbean by the East Indian indentured laborers in the year 1845 to Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam and Jamaica and 1857 in islands such as Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Kitts , St. Lucia and Barbados.
The East Indians planted Ganja on sixteen plantations throughout Grenada during their time as indentured labourers as they carried along their cultural practices with them.
The East Indians often smoked it in chillum pipes during their rest period on those estates without any police harassment.
The experts have said that 40% of alcohol users are addicted to alcohol while only 9 % of marijuana users are addicted to marijuana.
Marijuana has never been known to push persons into violent crimes but alcohol does.
Marijuana has made its way around the world and is used in almost every country today.
The earlier American Presidents smoked lots of marijuana, which they called hemp. Today when I see the amount of healing qualities that is found in marijuana it truly amazes me.
I now understand why this herb had to be made illegal due to its commercial value . Today tourists take marijuana tours in the Indian Himalayan, just to see this plant growing in it natural habitat as a native plant of India.