Delhi, Mumbai among world's top 10 highest consumers of weed
Smoking weed may be illegal in India, but apparently that's not stopping pot-smokers from getting turnt. According to a recent study of 120 cities across the world, New Delhi is the third-highest consumer of cannabis globally, followed by India's financial capital, Mumbai, at rank six. Incidentally, the two cities are also among places where weed is cheapest around the world. Here are more details.
What does the study say
The study was conducted by ABCD, a Berlin-based content marketing and performance PR firm, and Seedo, a company that manufactures hydroponic growing devices to grow medicinal herbs and vegetables. According to the study, New Delhi consumed 38.2 metric tonnes of cannabis in 2018, while Mumbai consumed 32.3 metric tonnes. The list was topped by New York, where 77.44 metric tonnes of cannabis was consumed.
Here are the top 10 cities with highest cannabis consumption
The top 10 cities with the highest cannabis consumption are: New York, Karachi (41.95 metric tonnes), New Delhi, Los Angeles (36 metric tonnes), Cairo (32.5 metric tonnes), Mumbai, London (31.4 metric tonnes), Chicago (24.5 metric tonnes), Moscow (22.8 metric tonnes), and Toronto (22.7 metric tonnes).
Delhi 10th cheapest to buy weed; Mumbai 11th cheapest
Now, the reason why cannabis is so extensively consumed in these Indian cities could be because it's pretty cheap (and easily accessible). New Delhi is the 10th-cheapest city to buy cannabis at $4.38/g (Rs. 312.52/g) while Mumbai is the 11th-cheapest at $4.57/g (Rs. 326.08/g). Then, there is Quito, Ecuador, where it's priced at $1.34/g (Rs. 95.62/g).
"Stoners' paradise" Amsterdam ranked 56th in cannabis consumption
Interestingly, the city of Amsterdam, the stoners' paradise, was ranked 56th in terms of annual consumption of cannabis (3.6 metric tonnes). In Amsterdam, cannabis is partially legal and you may buy soft drugs (such as weed, magic truffles, salvia and peyote cactus) from coffee shops.
Consuming cannabis can land you in prison for 6 months
It is important to note that cannabis consumption is punishable by six months' prison-time or Rs. 10,000 fine in India. In fact, cannabis cultivation is legal only for industrial purposes. In 2016, India accounted for 6% of the world's cannabis seizures (300 tonnes) which rose to 353 tonnes in 2017, a 2018 report by UN-backed International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) stated.
Taxing weed could make Delhi Rs. 728cr richer
The ABCD report also listed the tax revenue a city can collect if cannabis was legalized. If taxed at the same rate as the most sold brand of cigarette in the city, New Delhi could collect up to $101.2 million (Rs. 728cr) in taxes while Mumbai could collect $89.38 million (Rs. 643cr). In either case, it's not quite profitable as compared to other cities.
"Remove criminal element from marijuana to safely regulate production"
Commenting on the heavy cannabis consumption in cities where it's illegal, Seedo CMO Uri Zeevi said, "Those in power ought to see how desperately new legislation is needed." Zeevi added, "By removing the criminal element from marijuana, governments will then be able to more safely regulate production, take away power from underground gangs, and as we've shown in this study, generate huge tax revenues."