KOZHIKODE: On Friday, Excise officials seized nine ganja plants from the terrace of Abdul Akbar (Ganesh), 58, in Muriyanal, near Kunnamangalam. All the plants were grown in growbags on the terrace, said inspector M.K. Gireesh.
It was on July 10, that the Excise special squad seized a 36cm-tall ganja plant near Canoly Canal. A week later, the squad could find two plants, each 1.5 feet in height near the parking area of a jewellery shop on Mavoor road. Excise officials could seize more plants from terraces and homestead gardens in Nadapuram, Vadakara and more recently, from Kunnamangalam.
The old trend was growing ganja in plantations and hills as evidenced by the seizures recorded from various parts of the district this year. Nearly five seizures were made in rural and city limits, say Excise officials. But this was just the tip of the iceberg.
“Some grow the plants out of curiosity. Other people do it out of addiction. Some others prefer pure stuff and therefore grow them in their vicinity. Some plants were grown in the vegetable garden and in other cases, they were seen in growbags. There were also cases from other districts. For instance a swami was growing ganja in his garden, considering the plant to be of medicinal value,” says Excise deputy commissioner P.K. Suresh.
According to him, it was difficult to identify home-grown plants. The seizure could be small. “It is also difficult for commoners to differentiate the plants from other bushes and weeds,” he added.
“The aim of growing ganja in the house, in any case, would not be for sale. They might want to use it for themselves or to share with friends. But many are unaware that the penalty for the crime is 10 years in jail and a fine of Rs 1 lakh,” said Mr Suresh....