Dear Jacinda Ardern, Navika Kumar Will Need Your WhatsApp Chats Now that You’ve Admitted to Using Cannabis

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Dear Jacinda Ardern, Navika Kumar Will Need Your WhatsApp Chats Now that You’ve Admitted to Using Cannabis

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The Bollywood “drugs” case, which was born out of the investigation into Sushant Singh  Rajput’s death, has captivated the country. Channels vigorously investigating who smokes weed are high on TRPs and for social media, it’s just another addiction. Some news anchors have been giving lessons on different types of drugs while others decipher WhatsApp chats. And an entire industry demonised for enabling this “culture”.

While the public hounding of Rhea Chakraborty, Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor continues for consuming “drugs”, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted to smoking weed “a long time ago”, in an election campaign debate with National Party leader, Judith Collin.

The country is approaching its referendum on the legalisation of cannabis for personal use. The leaders of the two main political parties, National and Labour engaged in a heated debate recently that covered issues such as the rise in gangs, schooling, and plans for New Zealand in a post-pandemic world. India’s leaders, are you listening? Politicians have debates around the world, not break into monologues.

The moderator of the debate also touched upon the use of cannabis use in society. When asked point-blank, National leader Judith Collins said she will be voting “no” in the referendum. Incumbent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted to smoking a bit of pot in the past. When asked by the moderator if she has ever used cannabis, Ardern said, “Yes I did, a long time ago.”

However, she didn’t reveal how she would be voting on the referendum. Her acceptance of having smoked weed got an applause from the studio audience.

That is definitely not the response she would have received if she were in India. In fact, she’d be branded a charsi just like Deepika and Rhea.

How did we get here? Our sadhus smoke ganja, in some temples in North Karnataka cannabis is served as prasad, and bhang flows free during festivals.

The answer is simple. Ours is a society full of hypocrites and shaming Bollywood actresses is our birthright.

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