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  • Ganja Side Effects and Punishment in India

Ganja Side Effects and Punishment in India

In the bustling streets of India, whispers of “ganja” often flit through the air. But before you blaze, let’s unveil the drug’s hidden side. We’ll delve into more about its effects, both good and bad, and the strict laws in India that could land you in hot water. Knowledge is power, so let’s lift the smoke screen and make informed choices about Ganja. Here we go!

What is Ganja?

Ganja is also called charas or hashish. It consists of dried flower buds and leaves of the cannabis sativa plant. It has long been used in India for religious rites, traditional medicines, and even recreation. Its pain-relieving, calming properties are extolled in the Ayurvedic texts, and holy men use it in rituals for spiritual purification. On the other hand, the substances in Ganja that bring about psychoactivity can also cause various side effects. They are especially dangerous for children or vulnerable people.

Ganja Side Effects

Ganja brings the promise of an initial euphoria or relaxation, but heaven knows it always has a hangover. Here are some of the concerning side effects:

Impaired Cognitive Function: Taking Ganja turns your once-trustworthy memory into a clouded shade. Learning new things becomes an uphill battle, and concentration dissipates fast. You also find it difficult to meet deadlines, handle complex ideas, or read social cues. This mental fog can easily spill over into academic and career difficulties, destroying your pet projects.

Mental Health Issues: Ganja turns your mental abilities into a mash-up of anxieties and paranoia. You could begin to lose trust in everything, from the intentions of your friends to even your own sanity. It’s as if there is a voice whispering always, What if? You can become jumpy and suspicious. Even your shadow becomes an object of fear! At the extreme end, Ganja can break loose truly frightening monsters – full-blown psychosis, in which real and imaginary lives intertwine.

Respiratory Problems: Think smoking ganja is harmless to your lungs? Think again! The smoke from those chillums is just as harsh as cigarette smoke, damaging lung tissue and making you wheeze. Over time, these coughs and wheezes turn into chronic chest pains and lung diseases, leaving you short of breath even after climbing a single stair.

Friend or Foe?: Ganja may seem like your friend, which makes life sweeter and gives you a buzz of fleeting joy. But this friend’s intentions are deceptive, as it eventually leads to addiction. After using it for a while, the initial thrill fades, and you start chasing the drug’s highs. Not so long afterward, all your efforts are in vain as the high just dwindles still further. Ganja then becomes a persistent itch that won’t go away, a gnawing need you can’t satisfy, and will leave you craving it in prison when the sentence starts. If you try quitting, the withdrawal symptoms could drive you crazy: they’re unbearable insomnia and heavy sweats, shaking until your limbs can no longer support themselves.

Developmental Issues: For teenagers, Ganja is like playing Jenga with their developing brains. It can disrupt crucial brain circuits that are building memory, learning, and decision-making skills. This shaky foundation can lead to struggles in school, difficulties focusing, and trouble making good choices, impacting their future opportunities and dreams.

Punishments Associated with Ganja Beyond the Buzz

India categorizes Ganja as an illegal substance under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) of 1985. The extent of punishment depends on the amount possessed as follows:

Small Quantity (100 grams): For instance, if you have less than 100 grams (like a couple of cigarette packs), six months in jail or a Rs. 10,000 penalty could go your way. And that’s no small matter, right?

Intermediate Quantity (100 grams – 1 kg): If you were found in possession of more than 100g but less than one kilogram, this is called an “intermediate” amount and attracts imprisonment for up to 10 years and a possible fine of Rs. 1 lakh. A decade is enough time to sober down from those high moments.

Large Quantity (1 kg – 20 kg): In case you exceed one kilo, it falls under the “large quantity” category, which can lead to imprisonment for between ten and twenty years as well as a fine in the range of Rs. 1-2 lakh. That means waving goodbye to freedom and welcoming a huge dent in your finances.

Commercial Quantity (20+ kg): Not just a user, but a big player if you’re dealing with over 20 kg; this is known as “commercial quantity,” and the law does not play. It’s 10 – 20 years in prison and a similar Rs.1-2 lakh fine. Essentially, it’s an expensive long vacation that you never asked for. 

However, apart from legal implications, ganja use carries a lot of social costs. People may suffer employment discrimination, loss of educational opportunities, and even family ostracism.

The Debate: Decriminalization or Prohibition?

The strong opposition against cannabis in India has its critics, too. Advocates of decriminalizing the drug assert that this would shift our focus from punishment towards public health, which would promote harm reduction programs and addiction treatment centers. They further think that such measures would be more effective than the existing ones where users are pushed to hide and lack access to vital support systems.

On the other hand, some proponents of the ongoing prohibition policy argue that it serves as a deterrent to drug abuse, thereby protecting vulnerable communities. Additionally, they worry about increased use and addiction potential if decriminalized.

A Balanced Approach

Ganja’s story in India is not simple; it has deeply woven threads of traditionalism, recreationalism, and grim realities. A balanced approach calls for acknowledging the dangers of using Ganja and balancing the benefits. It involves:

Education: It is essential to raise awareness of the side effects of Ganja, especially among the young, to prevent abuse and addiction.

Decriminalization: At least exploring other alternatives, such as decriminalizing small amounts, should ease the burden on the judiciary, thus directing resources toward rehabilitation.

Medical use: By identifying drugs that can be used for medical treatment, it is possible to make Ganja controlled and responsible.


Ultimately, what happens with marijuana in India will depend on how well we balance our fears about its dangers with human rights concerns and public health considerations. Only through this way can we prevent a temporary bliss from being translated into a permanent cost.

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