While all the focus is on drug peddling in bigger cities, the Shivamogga police are engaged in efforts to tackle the consumption and sale of ganja coming from the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) area.
In the last four months, the Shivamogga police seized four consignments, each weighing over 20 kg of ganja. In all the four incidents, it was the “Sheelavathi Ganja” sourced from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh that was seized.
The hilly terrain bordering Andhra Pradesh and Odisha is known for this variety of ganja cultivation.
Locals grow ganja in large quantities and sell them at low prices. The people who carry it to different places make a huge profit by selling it at higher prices, say police. A senior police officer told The Hindu that a kilo of ganja is sold at ₹1,500 at the AOB area. The peddlers, who carry it to places like Shivamogga, Mangaluru, and parts of Kerala sell it at ₹15,000 per kilo. Given the profit margin, it has been a money-making trade.
The public in smaller towns is also worried about many youths getting addicted to ganja. Ayanur Manjunath, BJP MLC, has also written to the SP appealing to him to take strict measures necessary to stop consumption and peddling of ganja. He has also urged Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, who is also from Shivamogga, to take the issue seriously.
B.M. Laxmi Prasad, SP of Shivamogga, told The Hindu that he would reply to the MLC’s letter along with the details of cases registered in the last three years.
“As per the data available with us, a majority of consumers are the school dropouts in the age group of 15 to 19. Labourers and college students were among the other clients for the peddlers. We have been keeping a tab on people who supply ganja around colleges,” he said.