Globally, these bans have been rescinded as nations have realised two things: First, bans didn’t work over a period of many decades. Since cannabis is easy to grow and process, bans only led to the creation of a large criminal industry that smuggled and distributed the drug, with police forces, customs services, etc. being corrupted into the bargain and large numbers of people being thrown into jail for personal use. Second, cannabis has enormous medical value. It is used to alleviate nausea and pain in cancer victims and amputees, for instance. It is also among the least harmful of recreational drugs.
Cannabis has become a legal, tax-paying, multi-billion industry with listed companies traded on the US and Canadian stock exchanges. The global market for legal cannabis is expected to reach $145 billion by 2025 with double-digit growth rates projected.
Legalisation has been a win-win for both industry and governments. As legal access to cannabis has increased, ancillary crime associated with the trade has fallen. Growers and distributors have become tax-payers. Medical and bioscience research into the plant’s potential uses has increased. Secondary and tertiary employment has been generated by marketing and branding of both recreational and medical cannabis, complete with the sale of accessories.
India, too, could quickly become a major player if it entered the global cannabis industry. This would work on many levels.