Some spirtual people take lots of drugs

These Nagas Babas are smoking marijuana as part of their religious life. All over India you come across these unusual looking people smoking marijuana and living ascetic lives.

The role that drugs play in human spirituality is so widespread. Alcohol is part of the fundamental worship of Roman Catholics. Smoking marijuana and drinking it in the form of bhang are a part of Hinduism. This is of course uncomfortable for many believers but many middle class pilgrims to centres of worship like Varanasi will imbibe a small amount of the drug as part of their pilgrimage.

The Indian Government license the selling of marijuana in these locations. I asked a senior UNODC official who happens to be Indian about this apparent anomaly in the international regulation of illicit drugs. He didn’t give me the answer I expected, he told that once every six months or so the official responsible for drug control in a district would go to a temple and imbibe some marijuana as a way to maintain good community relations.

 

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