US Congressman hails Hindu ganja-fest

Posted on March 26th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

South AsiaRep. Steve Israel (D-NY) hailed the Hindu spring festival Holi in a statement before the House of Representatives March 25. "It is a visually stunning event with thousands of people tossing colored powders in the air and using dyed water in an atmosphere where culture, camaraderie and oneness are celebrated," Israel said. "In the evening, community bonfires are lit to signify triumph over divisiveness and negativity."

As a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Israel also commended the Hindu American Foundation for educating Americans about Holi. Three years ago, the Foundation worked to ensure passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing another Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist festival, Diwali. (PTI, March 25)

What Israel failed to mention is that Holi, known as the "Festival of Colors," is also traditionally celebrated with marijuana milkshakes. "Bhang thandai"—an almond-flavoured shake blended with bhang, or prepared cannabis—is widely served, from upper class private parties to street revelries. On that day, its use is completely acceptable for all adults, from youths to grandparents. While India is a signatory to the UN convention banning cannabis worldwide, the substance has always been part of the country's cultural heritage. Bhang is sold for ritual consumption through government licensed outlets. (France24, March 5)

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