Maharashtra may be the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, but that doesn’t mean its love for marijuana can take the back seat.
Over the years the police have caught several stoners red-handed. From being caught while dealing, to being caught while growing marijuana, the state has seen it all.
This week, cannabis cultivator from Pune was the next in line. A farmer in Pune’s Girim village was caught last week for cultivating cannabis in his farmland.
What You Need To Know About The Case
The incident came to light after Pune Rural Police’s local crime branch raided a local farm based on a tip-off. It was alleged that Dattu Shankar Shinde aged 47 was cultivating marijuana on his farmland.
After conducting the raid, the police found marijuana planted on about four gunthas of farmland and seized 173 plants with 140 kg of marijuana, which is a banned drug. The total value of the confiscated marijuana totals Rs. 20 lakh.
Speaking to Indian Express, Assistant Police Inspector Sunil Mahadik of Daund police station revealed the next course of the investigation. “Assistant Police Inspector Sunil Mahadik of Daund police station “Shinde was arrested and produced before a court. The court has remanded him to police custody for two days for further investigation.”
He also revealed the reason Dattu began growing marijuana on his farm, saying that the farmer himself got addicted to marijuana and started growing it to earn money by selling it.
Getting Caught With Marijuana Has Become A Commonality In Maharashtra
To say something like this is happening for the first time in the state would be incorrect. Last year, a 26-year-old from Chembur was arrested for growing marijuana at his friend’s house using the advanced technology of hydroponics. The police then had seized a kilogram of the plant and various materials used to grow it.
An 81-year-old man living in Boisar was arrested for cultivating cannabis on similar lines. The man was arrested for growing weed over a large plot of land. The police raiding the facility confiscated 200 plants and about 905gm of marijuana. On being arrested, the man claimed that he wasn't aware that growing cannabis was illegal in India.
Similarly, Pune has also been at the centre of the crosshairs when it comes to marijuana investigations. In 2014, thriving weed plantation by the banks of the Mula-Mutha River in Kharadi in Pune were discovered by the Anti-Narcotics Cell. As many as 64 kgs of weed, with a market value of Rs 5.5 lakh was confiscated.
It is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which makes the cultivation of cannabis illegal for commercial purposes. According to it marijuana can be cultivated only government-authorised premises that produce and sell bhang, or for research and medicinal purposes. However, the movement for weed legalization in India is slowly gaining traction, with states like Uttrakhand considering proposals to allow hemp and marijuana cultivation.