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HyderabadIn the dock for growing marijuana

In the dock for growing marijuana

Published: 11th Nov 2021 11:45 pm

Hyderabad: Entrepreneurship that went terribly awry – the recent incidents of persons being arrested in and around the city for cultivating marijuana at home, on the terrace and in the backyard – can be seen as amateur drug addicts turning enterprising but in illegal ways.

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The incidents which came to light after the State police launched an intense crackdown on drugs and substance abuse across Telangana, were of amateurs trying to come up with their own methods of ensuring their personal supply of marijuana, and in some cases, of trying to make some money by selling to people known to them. They had turned to growing the cannabis plant in their homes so that they would not have to take the risk of approaching street drug peddlers for weed.

The Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda police had raided several houses in the last one month and arrested many people on charges of selling and buying drugs, most prominently marijuana. The homegrown cannabis stories too came to light during these raids.

According to the police, such illegal enterprise, were mostly on rented premises.

“For cannabis cultivation, they are mostly selecting rented houses in secluded residential colonies or places. Terraces and backyards are used for cultivation. Some have a set-up inside their houses. Lighting arrangements for this kind of interior cultivation is easily available online,” a senior official from the Special Operations Team, Cyberabad said, adding that it was not easy for the common man to identify these plants amidst other plants in a garden.

With this, they not only evade the police radar, but also ensure a steady supply of marijuana for self-consumption and for their friends too. Those who were arrested were found to have taken help of online manuals and easy-to-procure technologies.

“Another reason to take up weed growing is the product cost and the risk of getting exposed and caught. While there are a few who grow them in small quantities for self-consumption and friends, others have started this as a small time business,” an official said.

The seeds for cannabis are mostly procured from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka.

“In our State, it is difficult to procure these seeds online due to strict police vigilance. These weed growers get them from agency areas either when they personally visit the drug hotspots or buy it from local peddlers and grow them in small pots,” he said.

Investigation into these incidents also revealed that the information, including videos on growing cannabis, is easily available on the internet. Some also travel to areas where it’s cultivated and study the process before trying it out on their own, police said.

Stringent measures:

What the law says:

Growing marijuana in India is illegal and a punishable offense that, under section 20 of the NDPS Act, 1985, will result in rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

The plant:

Cannabis plants can either be male or female. A female plant is the one which will yield the flowers or buds, filled with psychoactive compounds such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that ultimately gets one high. Male flowers, on the other hand, yield much smaller flowers which people usually avoid consuming.

Recent cases:

October 31: The Balanagar police caught a man who was cultivating marijuana in his backyard

November 5: A daily wage worker, who nurtured a marijuana plant in his house, was arrested by the RGIA police

November 7: Jawaharnagar police arrested a man, who was secretly growing six marijuana plants on the terrace of his house at a gated community in Yapral

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