Legal Ayurvedic Herb to Illegal Drug: Story of Marijuana in India – The Quint


Concerned about the prevalence of hemp, a derivative of cannabis, in the Bengal province, the House of Commons in the UK, in 1893, convened a seven-member commission to conduct a study. After gathering 1,200 testimonies from across India, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report, completed in 1894, hailed cannabis for the “mild euphoria” and “pleasant relaxation” caused by it.

126 years later, actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested for her alleged links to two men from whom allegedly 59 grams of marijuana were discovered by the police.

Yet, interestingly, as recently as 1985, all cannabis derivatives like marijuana, hashish and bhang, were legally sold in India. In fact these now ‘illegal’ drugs have been historically and culturally bound to faith and mysticism. So, here is how producing, possessing, consuming, and selling marijuana became a ‘modern-day’ crime in India.

This article originally appeared here in

Leave a Reply