Telangana

No high from ganja-burning, just a nagging headache at the most

A huge stock of seized ganja being destroyed at Kodduru village in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. The police destroyed 2 lakh kg of ganja worth Rs 250 crore that was seized in the last one year, from the tribal belts of Andhra Pradesh.

A huge stock of seized ganja being destroyed at Kodduru village in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. The police destroyed 2 lakh kg of ganja worth Rs 250 crore that was seized in the last one year, from the tribal belts of Andhra Pradesh. | Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

Videos of Andhra Pradesh police destroying 2 lakh kg of ganja have garnered much attention on social media with internet users wondering if the uniformed personnel or onlookers were ‘impacted’ by the fumes. 

Telangana Prohibition and Excise department personnel, who have destroyed ganja in the past, say that the maximum precaution that they can take during such exercises is tying a piece of cloth such as handkerchief around their nose, or wearing a mask, and standing at a distance as the contraband is set aflame. None of those who participated in such destruction of ganja were impacted.

“Usually, we pour diesel on the ganja and set it on fire. The maximum effect, at times, was headache which lasted for some time,” say sources in the department.

The Excise sleuths said that burning ganja is the only way of destroying the seized contraband. “Incinerating it and ensuring smoke does not go out is an option which can be explored,” adds an official.

Since ganja is not cultivated in Telangana, except suspicion of its cultivation in a few pockets in the State, the quantity seized here is lesser than in the neighbouring Telugu State. The contraband transported through the State and stock sold by peddlers is seized here.

Some of the Excise stations have a few thousand kilos of seized ganja safely guarded. It would be destroyed in the coming weeks after receiving due approval through Drug Disposal Committee.

The site of destroying the contraband depends on the district where it is located. Sources say that if the teams come across ganja plants in rural districts, the plants are burned in the same field. The contraband in safe guard at Excise stations in and around Hyderabad is usually destroyed at dumpyards. Local Municipalities are consulted before choosing the site.

“Since we destroy it in open spaces, the smoke is not contained in one place,” sources say.


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 8:05:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/ganja-burning-does-not-have-intoxicating-effect-say-ts-excise-personnel/article65046562.ece