HASHISH AND MARIJUANA IN INDIA
For millennium people in the India, Pakistan and Nepal have drunk and eaten hashish. Cannabis plants grow all over the place particularly in the north and in the Himalayas. “Bhang” is a word that is used to describe marijuana and hashish. It is also used to describe a drink made with marijuana and hashish. People like to smoke marijuana in chillums. Hookahs are usually used for smoking tobacco. Hashish laced with heroin called brown sugar is popular in the cities.
According to webehigh.org: You don’t smoke marijuana in India, unless it comes from the South. The hash that comes into Delhi from the hills is amongst the best in the world. Brands: Marijuana sold in New Delhi is usually outdoor grown, with potency that will seem a bit weak for American tourists. However, the taste is great! Hashish in India is of higher quality and potency. Get a chance, go to the hills, in Himachal, Parvati valley, Manali. thats where the hash is grown.
Smoking tolerance level [1= very illegal 5=virtually legal]: 4. Marijuana is not legal in India, however, it has come out of the closet – it is now openly sold from houses too. The reason is they have the tacit approval of the local cops and even some politicians. The law says it’s Illegal, but that is probably due to their association with the United Nations, which at the insistence of a certain Mr Anslinger, signed a comprehensive drug law. Traditionally India is very open to hash. Regardless its Illegal. Personal use (in public places), would at the most result in a chalaan (bribe), or some money to buy the cop some juice. You’d have to be really not caring, like sitting in front of a movie theater and rolling a joint, while people are walking by. Law Enforcement: The police have very low interest in Marijuana issues – they make no effort to stop cannabis related offences. [Source: webehigh.org]
Where to buy marijuana in New Delhi: Due to cannabis’ legal status in Delhi, it is very easy to obtain Marijuana in Delhi – simply go to any “bhang shop”, or, as one of our reporters said: ” Go to the big Circle, Take a Motorcycle with two seater, Ask the driver to get some… then he will go somewhere leaving you in the motorcycle. Pay the guy… give him 1/2 whatever he claims. Enjoy!!. Weed is commonly available in any of the many slums in delhi, and generally is not worth the effort. Without fail the first place to go looking for something to smoke has to be PaharGanj, opposite the N Delhi Railway Station outside Connaught Place. The best way to go about it would be to walk a while, till you start seeing some bong shops. you sure to get at least a 2-3 ppl come asking you if you want some, but more time outta naught, that’ll be some sirty shoe-polish mixture. just go to one of hippie cafes around and ask some the waiter or one of the hippie tourists u see walking around. ”
New Delhi Marijuana Prices: Marijuana and Hashish are extremely cheap for western tourists in India. The prices vary significantly, but stay low in costs. The going rate is around 50 to 100 rupees (1$ – 2$) a tola (10gms) for weed in New Delhi. Hash ranges from 300 ($6) to 700 ($14) a tola (10gms). If you do manage to get some cream (the best), get ready to spend atleast Rs1300, about $40 for a tola (10 grams). Others would start at Rs 200.
Every thing from bongs, rizlaz, chillums, crushers n of course good quality weed n hash if youre a foreign tourist the easiest n safest way to get anything you desire is to get to this place called “pahar ganj” or “pahad ganj” it is like this whole settlement and all the hotels in that area of new delhi are filled with foreign tourists fo all the known reasons so if you wanna trip in this city trust me it’ll be one of your best trips ever
Hashish and Marijuana Use in India
Sonali Acharjee and Aditi Pai wrote in India Today, “Studies also show a sharp rise in demand for cannabis, of which hash is one product. The 2012 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated that between 2002 and 2010, India was one of the leading suppliers of cannabis. Easy access, abundant availability in cities, and relatively reasonable prices have made the clientele for hash younger than ever before, affecting children as young as 12 rather than 17 or 18, which was the age of highest susceptibility earlier. Gone are the days when one needed to walk into dingy shops and dimly lit markets. Today, from the neighbourhood paan shop to elite nightclub waiters and dealers outside campuses, hash is only a call away. Be it the Capital's upmarket localities of Saket and Vasant Kunj, Mumbai's elite Colaba or Pune's nightclubs and lounges, all one needs is about Rs.1,000 to get high. In Bangalore, friendly neighbourhood suppliers charge Rs.1,200-2,000 for 10 grams of hash depending on its quality. [Source: Sonali Acharjee and Aditi Pai, India Today, April 2, 2013 |^|]
“Hash, or hashish, is a product of the cannabis plant and can be smoked in pipes or rolled up in paper like a cigarette. Unlike harder drugs such as cocaine, hash makes one drowsy but rarely causes hallucinations, making it a popular social drug among the youth. One of the arguments presented in its favour is the popular theory of how it is non-addictive, "safer than cigarettes", and part of the "Indian spiritual tradition". But hash often leads to behavioural abnormalities and memory damage. Dr Shetty, who has treated several cases of students with falling grades and failing memory, says its harmful effects are usually overlooked, at the user's peril, because it doesn't have the withdrawal symptoms associated with harmful substances. |^|
“The use of hash, like that of other narcotic substances, is punishable under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The punishment can range from a fine or/and imprisonment of six months to 10 years depending on the quantity of drug. The offences and penalties come under Chapter 4 of the NDPS Act. Despite that, it is widely cultivated, sold and consumed across the country, often under the nose of the police and the authorities. "Even though the police are aware of this trade of drugs, they turn a blind eye due to political compulsions and corruption. I feel the drug trade is being used to fund terrorist and Naxalite activities," says Niteen Pradhan. "Probably, no one has been awarded death for dealing in drugs although under the NDPS Act, a second offence can attract the death penalty," he adds. Agneya Singh suggests the use of hash be decriminalised. "A lot of countries are decriminalising it. Adults should be allowed the freedom to choose the drugs they want to use. It will prevent smuggling and bring down costs," he says.” |^|
Charas (South Asian Hashish)
Hand made in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India, Charas is a hashish form of cannibis and is widely used in India. The cannibis plant, the same plant used to make marijuana, grows mostly in Northern India—where much of the charas manufacturing takes place. For thousands of years charas has been used in India for religious and medicinal purposes. The Drug was once just as much part of every day life as chai or chapatis. Legends say that charas is so good that even the god Shiva himself would smoke it when he would go to the mountains to meditate. [Source: De-Addiction Staff, May 25, 2012 -]
According to lamota.org: The charas's purity, along with the sativa from which it is made, make it an authentic “psychoactive delicacy” which can produce transcendental and slightly euphoric feelings, and if it is of the highest quality, you may experience a heightening of the senses and a sense of communion with your environment. It isn't surprising that many Hindu yogis and ascetics will travel with nothing but some tolas of charas and a traditional ceramic pipe which is used to smoke it, the chillum, in the hopes that it will allow them to visit other planes of consciousness or help them better concentrate during long meditation sessions. [Source: lamota.org, May 19, 2014]
Usually, charas is smoked using a chillum. If you are unfamiliar with chillums, they are lager pipes made from cow horns. Chillums bring hot smoke directly into your throat. Charas if often mixed with tobacco before it is smoked. The cost of charas typically ranges between 20 and 30 USD in India. -
The effects of charas can be powerful, and dangerous. The active ingredient in charas, THC, is in higher concentration than in marijuana or regular hash. And the effects are slightly more powerful as well. Effects of charas include: 1) Psychedelic effects (hallucinations or altering of consciousness). 2) Charas users will have blood-shot eyes, heavy eye-lids and sometimes slurred speech. 3) Charas gives its users a dream-like experience when feelings of warmth and relaxation are felt. 4) Charas use often causes intense hunger. -
Charas means hand-extracted hashish. The long and tedious process of making it is accomplished by rubbing your hands through the cannibis flowers. Charas resin sticks to the palms of those trying to isolate the drug. After a long day of harvesting charas, you will end up with 8 or 9 grams. When you work quickly to get charas from the plant, the drug is a lower quality. In order to get the desired cream, you must work very slowly and carefully. [Source: De-Addiction Staff, May 25, 2012]
According to lamota.org: Charas is made with the enormous cannabis sativa plants which grow on the mountains of this range which crosses through the Indian subcontinent. This hash goes through a different process than most traditional production - such as Moroccan hash which is made by thrashing the plants against a sieve – but rather, is made of very pure and sticky resin, extracted from the still growing plant, which is pressed and moulded into small, black, gummy pieces. It is almost completely devoid of any impurities, but making it isn't easy. [Source: lamota.org, May 19, 2014]
Harvesters wear leather suits and walk through the large plantations which line rivers below the glaciers, and rub themselves continually against the plants and press the buds, a craft honed over generations, to extract their essence. Above all, “Don't mix the resin with anything!” – this command is taken very seriously: no plant matter – to create a perfect, red-and-amber coloured treacle which, once pressed, will make some of the best hash in the world. Once the sun sets, the harvesters will remove the resin from the leather and their bodies and shape it into small balls or sticks, of only 10 or so grams, which they call “tolas”. [Ibid]
Good Charas (Indian Hashish)
Toostonedtoplay.com reports: Good Indian hash is always a pleasure to smoke. Often produced in the northern valleys such as Parvatti, charas is made by hand rubbing techniques rather than the sieving method favored in the middle east. You might expect this then to contain a higher amount of contaminants, but in fact because of the colder and less dusty climate in the growing regions, contaminant levels are often low in the better examples. [Source: toostonedtoplay.com]
Indian Hash has a deeper and sweeter taste than Afghan. It can be less aromatic but more pungent in pure cannabis aroma. The smell is pleasant and the taste bold and pine fresh without the spice that ones find in Afghani hash. Watch out for repressed Indian hash which is of lower quality (Gold Seal) and sometimes comes from Pakistan. Good charas should be highly maniable and pungent. Indian hash fingers are usually of lower quality than the charas. Unfortunately, good Indian hash is seldom seen outside of India, and it is often mixed or polluted with plant matter before export to the West. Quantities do become available from time to time, however.
Good Indian hash comes from the Northern provinces, north of Delhi near the Kulu valley. An earthy and tasty hash, Manali is aromatic and pleasant. Manali Cream tends to be of higher strength and well worth buying. An interesting fact is that the Kulu valley produces only between 2-3 tonnes of hand rubbed charas annually. Easily confused with Manali, Malana is made from plants in the Parvatti valley. Malana hash a slightly darker consistency but is just as potent, also available in the Cream variety.
Manali Cream: Charas from the Parvati Valley
Dailysmoker.com reports: Parvati Valley in northern India is a place where the finest hashish of the world comes from. The 'Manali Cream' is known all over the world for its incredible and amazing quality. I had the luck to visit that area in The Himalayas a few years ago and one of my goals while being there was to score some of that famous 'Charas'. Well, that was not difficult, trust me, it's all over the place. The people in that area are very poor and the cultivation and production of hashish gives them the possibility to make a better living for themselves. [Source: dailysmoker.com, Saturday 17 December 2011 +++]
“Although it's illegal over there, just as anywhere else, the police did not seem to care. Besides the fact that smoking hashish is completely incorporated in the Indian culture, that area in northern India is so incredible huge, that it's practically impossible to really do something serious against the cultivation of cannabis. +++
“But every now and then, a new police chief stands up and tries to make name for himself by going into the valley and destroying all the cannabis fields he can find. A video by two French journalists who went along with such an officer into the Parvati Valley perfectly shows how totally useless it is trying to destroy the hashish culture in India. Cannabis grows there even next to the police station (huh, they don't even notice?!) and during the destruction of a field of cannabis plants one of the police officers quickly tries to make some hashish for himself. I almost pissed my pants.” +++
Hashish in Delhi and Bombay
Sonali Acharjee and Aditi Pai wrote in India Today, “The demand for the drug is evident from the shelves at Delhi's 'Hasher's Street', a row of around 10 shops that offer a variety of products from Italian chillums to South American orchid-scented rolling paper. Like Smoker's Corner, the shops here sell hash paraphernalia openly. Everything related to hash is here-a variety of pipes, mechanical joint rollers, weed crushers, rolling paper, chillum cleaners, weed storage boxes, hash oil dispensers, needles, hookahs and tobacco blends. And to those in the know, like the teens crowding the place, furtive exchanges can fetch joints that they can light up over a cup of milky chai. "My business has really expanded in the last five years," says the owner of a shop. "Weed and hash are everyday party products now, just like Coca-Cola and chips. Most of my customers are school or college children. They spend anything from Rs.200 for an Indian terracotta chillum to Rs.3,000 for some special hash such as Amsterdam Weed. [Source: Sonali Acharjee and Aditi Pai, India Today, April 2, 2013|^|]
“The supply chain is almost seamless. Get the right leads and a tola (10 grams) of hash can appear within minutes. In Mumbai, for example, getting your dose is as simple as walking along the Colaba Causeway towards the Gateway of India. Regulars will point to dealers who offer doorstep delivery or take you to suppliers, usually near the docks, if you want to strike a better deal. "Certain cheap bars are perfectly fine with people smoking pot inside," says Neha Mathur, 22, an architect and hash regular in Mumbai. |^|
“The neighbourhood paanwala is often the nondescript, round-the-clock hash supplier. The drug is tucked away in a corner of the shop and sold to regular clients. "Buying weed is much easier in Delhi today than it was 10 years ago," says Geetu Nair, 27, a software professional in Delhi. "Earlier, it was available only in shady, dingy shops in Palika Bazar but today you get it easily in the posh areas of Jangpura, INA, Vasant Kunj or Saket. Ask casually and they'll sell it to you as if it were a box of gum or mints." A few nightclubs, too, are known to keep a supply of hash ready for regulars. "I just send a text message to the manager that I am going with my gang and he keeps it ready," says Abhishek Kamra, 28, an investment banker in Mumbai. |^|
“If local stores can whip up 'packets' on demand, students sometimes turn garden patches on campus into hash plantations for a regular supply. "It's a criminal offence to grow marijuana or weed without a licence but ignorance, police negligence and corruption ensure that the practice is rampant," says Niteen Pradhan, senior criminal lawyer at the Bombay High Court. If some users blame it on peer pressure, others treat hash as a panacea to cure stress. |^|
“Besides its cool quotient, users argue that it's safe because it's rarely known to cause major physiological damage. But medical practitioners debunk such myths. At Gurgaon's FMRI, Samir Parikh, director, mental and behavioural science, has seen a threefold increase in the number of hash users in the past two years. "A joint is available for Rs.150, cheaper than a movie and popcorn at a multiplex. Kids believe hash is safer than smoking and the risk-taking tendencies during adolescence lead them to use cannabis in a big way." But, he warns, it dulls the mind and regular use affects social and occupational abilities. |^|
“Criminal activity or not, hash use is thriving and evolving. Local produce and mud chillums are making way for Italian pipes that cost Rs.3,000 apiece, Tasty Puffs or food-flavoured hash oils and high-end Jamaican weed, Royal Afghani hash and Ganesha's Dream Weed. In Ritul Singh's thriving all-hash shop in Delhi's 'Hasher's Street' resides the prized Amsterdam Pride (a potent blend priced Rs.5,000 per gram). Locked away in a steel Steven Tyler box that says "Life is short, smoke it up", it symbolises the reckless, fast-growing demand for that 'ultimate high'.” |^|
Hashish Use Among Young People in India
Sonali Acharjee and Aditi Pai wrote in India Today, “When her friends set off on the mall crawl on weekends, Mahek Mehta (name changed), 20, takes off on her very own trip, to what is known as 'Hasher's Street' in Delhi's Paharganj, with an Italian-crafted chillum and a weed crusher for company. At Smoker's Corner, an all-hash store, she sifts through the latest hash oil flavours, mixes it with Kerala Gold, one of the purest forms of hash, fills up her chillum and revels in the sweet-pungent smoke that fills the air. "Unless I am baked, I can't think of facing the high-stress week ahead. Smoking up is relaxing and inspiring," says the second-year art student at Delhi University. Baked, for her, is the high that hash brings. Across India, GenNext is riding on a high from hash and weed . On campuses, at nightclubs and at parties, smoking pot is seen as cool; Amsterdam Dream, [Source: Sonali Acharjee and Aditi Pai, India Today, April 2, 2013 |^|]
“Malana Cream and Bombay Black, varieties of hash and weed, are the new buzzwords and chillums and rolling paper the new youth accessories. "Hash is as common as mint and chocolate; it's the new recreational drug even among kids as young as 12," says Harish Shetty, social psychiatrist at the L.H. Hiranandani Hospital in Mumbai. "Its use is so rampant that it has even penetrated the conservative Mumbai neighbourhoods of Vile Parle, Dadar and Navi Mumbai."|^|
“Often, parents and teachers are unaware of what hash even looks like. Shetty, who has treated several teenagers for hash-induced behavioural abnormalities, says children often use eye-drops to clear the effects of hash before they head home after a smoke. "I could smoke a joint under my teacher's nose and she would probably think I am smoking rotten tobacco. No teacher in my school has the slightest idea about how often my friends smoke up, what hash really is or how to tell between joints and cigarettes," says Riya Kapoor (name changed), 15, a student at one of Delhi's premier private schools. Academics say one must understand the psychology of children to keep them away from drugs. "Smoking is a growing concern among schoolchildren and teachers need to be better educated on the subject," says Mark Parkinson, executive director of Kunskapskolan School in Gurgaon and former director of Delhi's Shri Ram School. "Students who smoke are convinced that it is not addictive and is just for fun. They feel they can quit any time. To change their minds, one really needs to understand their psychology and priorities. I myself used to smoke as a child, so I know that threats and punishments never quite work as a deterrent." |^|
“Shilpa Khanna (name changed), 26, a banking executive from Gurgaon, smokes up to "calm down instantly as it distorts time and space". Says Agneya Singh, 24, writer and director of M Cream, a forthcoming film on hash use among the youth, "Hash is hugely popular among the youth and on campuses. It's a counter-cultural movement sweeping our country where the youth is pushing the limits of society and rebelling against social, economic and political uncertainties." Unwilling to crack down on rebellious children, some urban parents, too, are condoning the occasional use of hash. Smita Kalyani, 42, a housewife from Chandigarh, has a pact with her 18-year-old son. He's allowed to smoke up at parties but never at home. "He will do it anyway, so it's better to be a friend to your children and limit the use of cigarettes and alcohol," she says.” |^|
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.
Last updated June 2015