Ganja users are also trying synthetic drugs now – The New Indian Express

Express press service

KOCHI: Ganja has long been considered the most popular and trafficked illicit substance in the state. Nearly 80% of all drug seizures made by law enforcement over the years have been cannabis. However, according to the latest police data, the trend seems to have changed with a large number of abusers turning to synthetic drugs like MDMA and high-end hashish which have dangerous effects.

According to the data, 4.4 kg of MDMA have been seized so far this year, compared to 2.7 kg for the whole of 2021. There were only 105 grams and 316 grams in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Separately, police also seized 24 kg of hashish and 610 grams of brown sugar this year. A total of 6.5 kg and 5.05 kg of hashish were seized in 2021 and 2020, respectively. Meanwhile, ganja seizure was 1,368 kg in the past four months, compared to 3,841 kg last year.

“It is true that cannabis was the illicit drug most used by drug addicts. If people aged 30 to 35 used ganja earlier, they are now also trying MDMA and hashish. Many of the young people we recently arrested under the NDPS Act are also addicted to high-end drugs. Although the number of ganja users is even higher, a large number of them turn to synthetic and expensive drugs,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

Ernakulam (Rural) District Police Chief K Karthick said the compactness of the expensive drugs could be why many are drawn to them. “Compared to previous years, the crackdown activities of the police have increased a lot. This resulted in the seizure of several drugs, including ganja, MDMA, hashish and others. Due to law enforcement, it has become difficult for drug addicts to carry ganja. Since synthetic drugs are compact, they are easy to transport. It could also be a reason for more people to switch to these,” Karthick said.

Another officer said high-end drug use has become a status symbol among addicts. “The trend is more visible among technicians, dancers and also those in the film industry,” added the officer.
Police also recorded cases against 8,124 people over the past four months under the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) in the state, compared to 5,586 cases for all of 2021. DIG Neeraj Kumar Gupta (Ernakulam range) said that people prefer chemical drugs over ganja.

Police on Wednesday arrested a 23-year-old from Chennai for possession of two patches of LSD and ganja beedis. Police said Lokeshwaran, 23, from Chennai, was arrested as he exited Ernakulam South Railway Station. He came to the city to visit various tourist places. He was caught based on a specific intelligence entry. Police said they have stepped up operations to control growing drug trafficking activities in the city. A raid was carried out at the wharf of the island. The baggage of passengers arriving at the platform has been checked.

Alvin J. Chase