Illegal import of curated marijuana under NCB scanner

Anti-drug enforcement agencies have begun intensive operation against the illegal import of curated marijuana (bud), which is gaining popularity among the youngsters due to its high potency levels.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), a federal agency against drugs and Mumbai police’s anti-narcotics cell (ANC), has been keeping a close watch on the supply chain of ‘bud’ which is a refined quality of marijuana.

The recent seizures of bud have revealed that it is primarily sourced from the US and Canada and has huge demand in Mumbai. Sources stated that bud is being illegally imported through postal services.

Investigations of the agency in previous cases have revealed that drug-peddlers accepted the orders through websites. The curated marijuana is sold for as high as Rs 5,000 per gram and sent as parcels. This is done by misdeclaring the goods to the courier companies. Peddlers have been declaring the parcels as health products, vitamins, herbal and ayurvedic products.

The sourcing of the bud is primarily through the Darknet, which gives the layers of the anonymity to the buyers and sellers. Darknet is being used as a source to find and buy drugs online. The economic transactions in these types of international drug trafficking is based on the cryptocurrency dealings. “Bud has been gaining popularity among youth in party circles in the city,” said an officer. Sources said that the modern weed contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects — double to triple the level of Indian weed commonly referred to as ganja.

The menace of bud was prominently revealed when the NCB investigations in the case related to death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput revealed that some of the arrested peddlers were dealing in bud. The widespread use and demand of bud in Mumbai region has jacked up the prices in the grey market and it has huge pecuniary gains in the trafficking.

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