Kathmandu, August 23
Police destroyed cannabis plants growing wild in over 1,700 ropani land on the outskirts of Kathmandu yesterday.
Bouddha-based Metropolitan Police Circle and its subordinate units in association with local representatives, youth clubs, forest users groups, school teachers, students and cooperative organisation got rid of the cannabis plants in Jarsingpauwa, Bojini, Kartike and surrounding areas of Shankharapur Municipality-3.
According to Central Police News Section, more than 100,000 cannabis plant were destroyed. In June, the Narcotics Control Bureau had destroyed cannabis plants illegally cultivated in over 75,000 ropanis land in Okhreni, Chilaune, Gaurigaun, Majhgaunj, Kune and Khatritole of Gokarneshwor Municipality-1.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shyam Lal Gyawali, spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Office, said cannabis cultivation and its natural growth were posing threat to anti-drug initiative of the law enforcement agency as racketeers often lure farmers into switching to cannabis farming from traditional food crops.
Due to remote geographical locations and lack of proper monitoring mechanism of security agencies in such areas, cannabis and opium cultivation has become widespread, said a report published by the NCB. It is also gaining ground around Kathmandu valley.
Cannabis plants are destroyed to deter drug traders and prevent the youths from drug abuse. Whenever police get information about cannabis cultivation, they destroy the crops and warn the farmers not to repeat the illicit cultivation in future. Hashish is made from resin of cannabis plants and is traded at home or smuggled abroad. Existing law has defined production, transportation, sale and distribution, storage and use of drugs as a punishable crime.
In May, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued ‘Guideline to Local Levels for Control and Prevention of Drug Abuse,’ to ensure that all municipalities and rural municipalities conducted remedial and promotional activities against growing abuse of psychoactive substances. The guideline required every local level to form a 13-member committee, led by its chief.
The committee consists of representatives of youths, students, women, civil society and police force. It shall maintain a tight vigil to prevent production, smuggling, possession, sale, distribution and consumption of drugs.
According to the MoHA, annual growth rate of drug users in the country since 2007 has remained 11 per cent.
A version of this article appears in print on August 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.