Throw open to marijuana

Apropos of the news story “Rethink ban on marijuana: Experts” (THT, June 26, Page 2), Nepal must join the winds of change sweeping the western countries in favour of relaxing drug rules.

Marijuana, part and parcel of our cultural heritage, was banned following high pressure from the western countries during the peak of astonishing hippie movement that alone put Nepal firmly on the top of the world tourism map. It was not banned to save Nepali youth as such but to discourage the western youth, mostly Americans, from deserting their Vietnam duties.

If they had their way, they would have flooded the country with drugs as had happened during the Sino-Anglo war. Without marijuana that attracted the hippies, Nepal would have had to spend billions in marketing to just put our name in the tourists’ psyche. To many, Nepal was presumably Naples for a long time before marijuana and the hippies help differentiate between the two.

So, Nepal should just lift the ban on the “iconic plant” as it would help, among others, in bringing in more tourists into the country and generating jobs. As with all opiads, including liquors, there will be people who will use it, misuse it or shun it altogether. There are many who drink to death, or drink moderately or not touch drinks at all. It is the same with marijuana.

It does not behove Nepali authorities to speak for continued ban on marijuana citing monitoring dysfunction or failure to implement the provisions of a law, which are frankly the government’s problem. In any case, the recent crime of the 21st century -- The Great Gold Smuggling -- has shown that crime cannot be eliminated when “high officials” of the government charged with monitoring and implementing laws themselves provide logistical and human support to the criminals.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


This is with reference to the news story “England complete whitewash” (THT, June 25, Page 14). It was really a historic performance by England in the five ODI series it played against Australia at home.

The home team went on to complete a 5-0 whitewash for the first time against the strongest team in this format of cricket. It won the first ODI by 3 wickets, second by 38 runs, third by 242 runs, fourth by 6 wickets and then fifth by an extremely narrow margin of 1 wicket. Australia forced England to become an archipelago to be surrounded everywhere by troubles in the last match.

The home team went on to heave a sigh of relief, mainly due to superb batting performance by wicket-keeping batter Jos Buttler and the last batter in the form of Jake Ball. England taught Australia a good lesson about how to play one-day cricket in the series. Of course Australia are the only team to have won ODI World Cup for five times in five different tournaments. But time has arrived for the team to refresh themselves up.

Now it’s Nepal’s turn to learn a lesson from England in this format of cricket about how to perform well against every opponent in every condition to emerge as a winner.

Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar