Sunday, 2 February 2014

Drugs in a homogenised world


I have traveled the world all my life and one of the common characteristics to all the cultures I have met is – that all cultures have some substance that they use to wind down from the trials and tribulations of life.
To put it in more simple words – every society has an accepted drug, which is used by the people, and in many ways that drug defines that society
With the advent of globalisation or more so, the Americanisation of our world, the commonly accepted drug amongst most societies has become alcohol.
And of course, this is part of the scam of the mono world. Wear the same clothes, eat the same food, think the same thoughts and get the same high.
Though there is another reason I am about to tell you this story, and this one has affected millions of people worldwide, and the victims have mainly been women.
When I first traveled to India many years ago, the common high was THC. In every street, you could find a shop selling charras, ganja, and opium. To those of you not aware of these terms; every street had a shop selling hashish and marihuana. The government licensed these shops, the quality of the drugs was graded and they paid tax.
At the time most laborers in India made around 30 Rupees a day, and with an exchange rate of 8 Rupees to the dollar they made more money 33 years ago, then they make today.
So, back to the main reason for this story. Well, after work, the common laborer would pass by the ganja shop, buy a small piece for about half a Rupee, get stoned and go home.
Within Indian families, it is the woman that usually holds the money, so when the man comes home, the wife would ask him for the money and the stoned man would happily hand over his hard earned daily earnings and sit for a cup of chai with his wife and family.  Being high on ganja, the man is relaxed after his hard day at work and his wife is happy that 98% of what he earned is left for the family to use.
It is important to mention that at the time alcohol was illegal in most parts of India.              
In 1984 under a Ronald and Nancy Reagan initiative, and with great pressure put on them, India criminalised drugs and legalised alcohol in most parts of the country. With this, traditions which have been alive for thousands of years have been cast aside for the sake of so-called modernity and assimilation into the new world order.
So now we turn into the second current day scenario. These days an Indian laborer earns around 150 Rupees a day, which with the current exchange rate of about 65 Rupees to the dollar, is much less then what they earned 33 years ago. After a hard days work, the tired laborer stops by the now government licensed alcohol shop, and buys a small 250 ml bottle of whiskey for around 70 Rupees. He drinks it in the spot and arrives home drunk. When the wife asks where is the money he punches her and is abusive to the rest of his family. Half his wage has gone to his post work relaxation compare to at the most 2% 33 years ago.
What does a stoned man do? Well he relaxes, sleeps, listens to music or takes his wife to bed to make love to her passionately.
What does a drunken man do? A drunken man who has just spend half his families bread? He is angry, mostly with himself.
Welcome to the modern world: change the drug – change the people.
Domestic violence has shot through the roof since the introduction of alcohol in India with most of the victims being women. These women have been demonstrating in many parts of the country, many times burning the alcohol shops.
At the same time, multinational grog companies have been descending on the country like vultures, eager to open shop in what could eventually be the biggest market in the world for their products.
Perhaps this has something to do with it…alcohol is man-made while herbs such as ganja are gifts of nature.
Now let me be very clear. I am not writing this as a pro-smoking anti-drinking essay.
Not at all!!!
I am writing this as a call to respect that an Indian might smoke ganja and a South American Indian might chew on coca leaves and each culture has its way.
I am sharing this in order that we respect that every culture is different and these differences should be celebrated, rather than eradicated. What is good for white Anglo-Saxon people is perhaps not so good for others
And more so. Drugs can be instruments of control. Does alcohol make you think nicer then Ganja? Is it healthier for you> of course not, and just because something is not the way we are used to, doesn’t mean its wrong.
And in truth, if I had to choose between groups of drunken people or stoned ones, I know where I would go and sit.
So let us stop this hypocrisy of enforcing the white man’s way on the rest of the world.
Another way is possible, a way of tolerance and acceptance