Villagers uproot Marijuana plants to deter Marijuana hunting youth

The villagers discovered acres of land covered with Marijuna plant in Chumithangka village and some other places in Gigagom have become hunting grounds for Marijuana collectors especially in the summer.

Photo by Kencho Wangdi for Druk Asia

         Photo by Kencho Wangdi for Druk Asia

A joint community of Gidagom and Chumithangka uprooted marijuana plants and shrubs to keep their society a drugs free zone.

The villagers discovered acres of land covered with Marijuna plant in Chumithangka village and some other places in Gigagom have become hunting grounds for Marijuana collectors especially in the summer.

Over 160 households from Jimina Chiwog participated in a mass Marijuna plant uprooting program organised by the Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA). Around three acres of plants were uprooted and subsequently burnt on site.

One could easily step on a Marijuna plant just by walking on plain ground due to the density of the plants. With the village being remote and far from police and relevant authorities, many youths were seen collecting them, according to the locals.

BNCA’s Assistant Program officer, Sonam Tashi said that while they did not receive any complaints, Chumithangka under Jimina gewog is densely covered with Marijuana plants.

When they asked about the plant’s existence, many farmers said that youths even come with packed lunch to get it especially in summer. “If we uproot the plants now, we believe it will ultimately solve unnecessary problems with youth getting into trouble with the police,” he said.

He added that the locals have been briefed about the harmful impacts of the plant and will subsequently eradicate them. Some of the farmers have agreed with the one-day programme to uproot Marijuana plants completely in these places.

“There are a lot of boys who come for Marijuana rubbing especially during Tshechus, festivals and even during the summer vacation,” said a farmer, Pema Yangden. She even mentioned that these boys are not willing to listen to them. “We even tried to chase them but they never listen to us,” she said.

Another villager, Ap Sonam said that usually students come here for picnic. But I often see boys rubbing Marijuana plant. “When we tell them not to, they beg us saying that they will just take a little. I see some of them coming every day,” he said.

Likewise, Aum Tshering Dolma said that youths with scarves wrapped on their heads and mouths covered with masks come every day with their bags. They spend most of their time there, rubbing Marijuana plants. “Now we are happy that we can make this place drugs free by uprooting Marijuana,” she said.

Some of the villagers even mentioned that their children are also influenced by those outsiders. “Now if we see youths coming to our villager to do such things, we are going to report it to the police,” one of the villagers warned.

 

Kinley Yonten (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on The Bhutanese.

 


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