Bhang hotspots come under the scanner as holi draws near

Consuming too much bhang can lead to grandiosity, excitement

Hyderabad: Officials from the excise and prohibition department are keeping a stricter vigil on the sale of bhang laced with ganja as the festival of colours draws near.

“As per regular protocol, before the commencement of Holi festivities, we conduct raids on suspected places and bring sales of ganja-laced bhang under control,” an official from the excise department said.

Excise officials from Nampally station said that they keep an eye out for bhang blended with ganja buds, which is easily distinguishable and is prohibited under NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act.

“Specific and strict instructions were given to excise department heads to keep vigil at hotspots like Begum Bazaar, Dhoolpet and Mahbubganj,” said N. Anji Reddy, assistant excise superintendent, enforcement.

“Apart from keeping the area under our watch, we also keep an eye on habitual offenders to ensure that no narcotic substances are being distributed in any part,” he said.

The banned substance can be mixed in sweets made with nuts and condensed milk and decorated with silver and gold edible foil. In its diluted form, bhang offers a mild buzz. Consuming it in large quantities is akin to smoking weed.

“We often visit Dhoolpet during the festival to spot places selling bhang, which is sold in the form of small, cake-like sweets for Rs 50 per pack, which can be consumed by five to six persons, who all will get a mild high” said a customer.

“Bhang is generally made from green ganja leaves, which do not come under the definition of a narcotic. Another alternative raw material could be poppy seeds. Its straw is used to derive opium, which when processed, gives heroin,” explained an official, adding that even chemical analysis of bhang samples will not help establish the raw material used.

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