In the Indian context, marijuana is mostly considered as being of recreational use, but it is not just that. Recreational use is probably true for not more than 5%; for the rest, it has medicinal purposes. The cannabis plant has tremendous amount of medicinal value and its potential for industrial usage can hardly be overstated. China is investing a few billion dollars in developing different strains of the marijuana plant towards several objectives. It has proper factories for processing marijuana. Many countries have developed fabrics. It has unlimited usage in diverse fields, including in the field of semiconductors.
The cannabis plant is something natural to India, especially the northern hilly regions. It has the potential of becoming a cash crop for poor marginal farmers. If proper research is done and cultivation of marijuana encouraged at an official level, it can gradually become a source of income for poor people with small landholdings. That is one part. The other part is, even if you are growing paddy, you can grow marijuana on the margins.
India should ideally focus on marijuana’s medicinal use. It is known to help people with eye ailments, cancer, and joint pain. Incidentally, China is also doing a lot of research on marijuana for cancer cure. Marijuana does not cure cancer but it reportedly stops cancer from spreading.