Large number of students in Visakhapatnam turns ganja peddlers

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Enforcement officials seize hemp worth Rs 20 – Rs 30 crore every year in Vizag.

Visakhapatnam: With a large number of  youth getting addicted to smoking weed to get high in Vizag city and neighboring Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, many college students are turning into smugglers for easy money.

The excise and police officials admit the increasing demand for marijuana among the urban youth prompting smugglers to push up prices of the weed.

Discreetly sold in small pouches, 100 grams of marijuana used to cost `250 earlier but it is now up to almost Rs 800. In Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the price of 100 gm marijuana packet is Rs 1,000.

The flourishing ganja trade in Vizag Agency and the rising demand for the weed in urban area has become a good source of income for traders in the region. No doubt, the consumption of the weed  among the city youth, particularly students of various private engineering college,  has been increasing in the past few years.

With police increasingly seizing ganja and arresting the smugglers, the price of marijuana has increased, said ACP, Task Force, I. Chittibabu. Though ganja smuggling is illegal and risky, some youngsters are turning drug peddlers in the city for quick bucks to lead a lavish life, he added.

Sources in the excise department said drug peddlers have been procuring the weed, particularly Sheelavath variety from parts of Vizag Agency at a cost of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per kg and are reportedly selling it at Rs 8,000 a kg in Vizag while it was around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 in Hyderabad, Chennai and a few other metro cities.

Sheelavathih is one of the popular and best ganja varieties in Vizag Agency which gives more kick to the youth compared to other varieties in the region and the with the increasing demand for the weed in urban areas, the price of ganja has increased over 60 pc in the retail market.

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