Laboratory examinations have detected the presence of 15% or more of cannabinoids, the psychoactive compounds in cannabis aka marijuana aka ganja, in certain varieties of toffees that are manufactured in northern States and are being smuggled into Tamil Nadu.
Presence of the psychoactive drug was confirmed after samples of several cache of these toffees, which are generally labelled as ‘ganja chocolates’, seized by the Coimbatore District (Rural) Police were subjected to tests.
“Tests have shown the presence of cannabis in these toffees 15% or more. This highlights the danger involved in the consumption of the contraband and its circulation. Based on the Chief Minister’s call to eliminate drugs from the State, the police have launched intense drives against such contraband items,” said Coimbatore District Superintendent of Police V. Badrinarayanan.
The Coimbatore District Police have seized a total of 235 kg of different brands of cannabis infused toffees in the past two months. This included 22.5 kg of toffees seized from Bihar native Mahesh Kumar (32) by the police on Monday.
According to the SP, the drugs seized in Coimbatore district were found to have been manufactured in northern States including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. While guest workers were among the higher side of persons arrested for peddling the substance, involvement of locals was also found.
“We are able to track down wholesalers based on the arrest and interrogation of retailers. The police are on the job to track down the network and eliminate its trade in the district,” Mr. Badrinarayanan said.
The retailers were found selling the toffees for price ranging from ₹ 40 to ₹50 per piece.
A field inspection mobile forensic unit allotted to the district police has become handy for police personnel to conduct spot tests on suspected contrabands. The unit will be called to the location where a suspected contraband is detected and a sample will be tested using the spot-testing kits.
“The seizure and other procedures are initiated after doing the spot testing. Later, samples from the seized consignment are also sent to the forensic laboratory analysis as usual,” the SP said.
The Coimbatore District Police have formed 58 anti-drug clubs in colleges coming under its jurisdiction. The police are having continuous interaction with members of these clubs to gather intelligence on the possession and sale of drugs. Specific information shared by the students has led to the seizure of drugs on several occasions. The SP said the district police had frozen 250 bank accounts of people dealing in narcotics, which had a total of ₹20 lakh in them, from 2022.