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High times in America

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 00:05 IST

The war in Iraq is not the only one that President Bush is not winning. There is another one brewing in his own backyard. America seems to have decided to ‘Just Say No’ to its administration’s long drawn-out War on Drugs, especially the battle against cannabis sativa aka marijuana. Where the government has been trying to weed out this Schedule I drug from the market, the people have been planting seeds of dissent — literally.

According to a report by DrugScience.org, marijuana is now the biggest cash crop in the US, the total harvest valued at $35.8 billion. Wheat, corn, soybeans, the American farmers’ traditional bumper crops, have been pushed out of the reckoning by, as Richard Nixon had delightfully termed it, “the Public Enemy No. 1”. One of the main reasons why the grass is getting greener in the US is apparently the tightening of the borders since Osama bin Laden left an untidy rubble in Manhattan on 9/11. Well, the philosophy at work here seems to be: if the going gets tough, the tough get it growing at home.

And here lies a lesson for American — and dare we say it, Indian — authorities. We recommend that they take a deep and refreshing drag (of fresh air, of course), relax and change policy on the plant in question. Prohibition, whether of alcohol or other recreational substances, have always been known more for being defied than welcomed. In this particular war on drugs, it might be better to separate the hemp from the chaff.