Hyderabad: The number of cases of ganja booked by the excise police has shot by 300 per cent this year. In 2017, the excise police booked 17 cases which has zoomed to 62 so far this year.
Data shows that mainly students in the age group of 18-24 years were the purchasers. About 70 per cent of them are engineering students followed by medicos, and other degree students. Most of the students first tried ganja because of peer pressure. Also, they were greatly influenced from recent hit films.
After the excise police achieved ‘gudumba-free city’ in 2016, some of the families shifted their business to ganja trade. Mr N. Anji Reddy, assistant excise superintendent (enforcement), said, “One of the prime reasons for this is ganja is available at cheap rates as compared to other drugs. Most of the drug peddlers lure the students by offering free ganja for the first time. They take orders over phone and deliver it as per the customer needs. We are keeping a watch on the movements of drug peddlers. They are taking advantage of celebrations like birthdays and other functions and expanding their illegal businesses. “Another important reason was the cultural mixture which happened through migration of Africans. A lot of Africans shifted to Hyderabad to study. They also brought their ganja smoking habit with them.
Mr Anji Reddy said, “The police is conducting awareness programmes in engineering colleges and explaining the health, social, economic consequences and legal impact of addiction to ganja. We are trying our best to declare Hyderabad a drug-free city.”
They were getting addicted to ganja at the cost of their lives, said an excise official. It was easy to identify if a person was addicted to ganja for a long time. If they are addicted to ganja for a long time their eyes dry up frequently. “They use eye drops to relax,” added an official from excise department....