Did Suvarna TV manipulate Nithyananda’s statement on Marijuana?

COULD THE NEGATION BE MORE EMPHATIC THAN THIS?

The New Indian Express reports that a Hindu Swamiji has been issued an unlawful notice by the Narcotics and Women department/division of the Karnataka Police for stating that he does not support marijuana. He appears to have claimed that his stance against marijuana is in spite of his observations, perhaps based on his experience with Naga Sadhus and Aghoris, that marijuana does not cause an addiction pattern, unlike alcohol. 

TNIE reports that in a speech by Paramahamsa Nithyananda titled “How Addictions Work” he said, “Actually, alcohol only becomes an addiction. Marijuana never becomes an addiction because it is a herb. In my life, I have not seen an addiction pattern developed by marijuana. Let me say, I am not supporting marijuana, let me be clear. I have not taken and I am not saying that all of you should use marijuana”.

Of course, simply because one complies with the law and negates the use of a substance does not mean he has to not speak about his own observations of its effects on the users and/or the current scientific consensus about the substance.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE OBSERVATIONS

In fact, this is a very scientific statement as the scientists rank alcohol higher in dangerous propensities for health and addiction than marijuana. Many states in the USA and many western countries have decriminalised the use of marijuana completely. In the Netherlands, for example, cafés have this substance on their menu just like they do have coffee and cake.

The Independent of the UK reported that “More than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes in 2014. There have been zero documented deaths from marijuana use alone… For a 1994 survey, epidemiologists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse asked more than 8,000 people from ages 15 to 64 about their drug use. Of those who had tried marijuana at least once, roughly 9% eventually fit a diagnosis of addiction. For alcohol, the figure was about 15%. To put that in perspective, the addiction rate for cocaine was 17%, while heroin was 23% and nicotine was 32%.”

Even in India, Bhang, a religious form of marijuana, is legal in many states of India. It is also interesting to note that India had fought in the international arenas for not classifying Bhang as cannabis, then a straight illegal drug across the globe unlike it is now.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CRIMINALISATION

It also appears to be an integral part of certain ascetic sects in India such as the Aghoras and Naga Sadhus. The history behind the criminalisation of marijuana in India was the British rapacity for profit. The colonialists were monopoly traders of opium in the subcontinent and China. Perhaps, the British wanted to substitute the dangerous and unhealthy opium for marijuana and make money out of addictions and substance abuse.

It is ridiculous that a statement against marijuana use is being used to raise an issue and that too by a local media channel in Karnataka, owned by a BJP MP (Rajeev Chandrasekhar), called Suvarna TV. Even more outrageous is the Karnataka Police apparently issuing a notice for the same based on such unprofessional news coverages and hearsays.

It appears that Suvarna TV, and its Tamil counterpart Sun TV, aim to vilify all Hindus as did the CNN broadcast of a documentary on the Aghoris by a Muslim-named Hinduphobic producer, Aslan. This raises the question if these channels are pushing an international Hinduphobic agenda and the “secular” Karnataka police are inadvertently(?) playing into their hands.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi.

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