South Asia

Cannabis thrives both sides of divided Kashmir

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

South AsiaThe disputed region of Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan since 1949, has made scary headlines in recent months. Pro-independence militants are stepping up attacks on the India-controlled side, and the region is a potential flashpoint for war between the nuclear-armed South Asian giants. But it hardly comes as a surprise that a cannabis economy thrives on both sides of the Line of Control—despite the best efforts to suppress it by both Indian and Pakistani security forces. The Indian Police Service last week announced the arrest of Kashmir's most-wanted charas smuggler at a checkpoint in Tangmarg district, in the north of the India-controlled territory. The trafficker was named as Abdul Rehman Dar, but there is no reason to expect his fall to interrupt the illicit industry. The region's conservative Islamist press runs editorials scandalized by long-entrenched cultivation of bhang (cannabis) to produce charas (hashish), as well khash-khash (opium poppy).

India: opium legalization initiative in Punjab

Posted on January 24th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

opiatesA candidate for the assembly in India's northwest state of Punjab is calling for the legalization of opium to address the much-hyped drug problem in the state.  Calcutta's The Telegraph reported Jan. 22 that candidate Tarsem Jodhan unveiled the proposal at a campaign rally in his native village of Dakha, saying: "Opium is not a killer like heroin and other synthetic drugs."

Bhutan emerges as contraband cannabis hub

Posted on July 21st, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South AsiaThe landlocked Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan was traditionally isolated—only getting television as recently as 1999. Since opening up, alas, it has been increasingly drawn into the multiple armed conflicts rocking the greater region—especially becoming a staging ground for ethnic guerillas waging insurgencies for autonomy or separatism in India. Most recently, authorities in India are asserting that some of these guerilla armies are in league with Bhutanese cannabis growers to fund their armed struggles. 

Scorpion-smoking: latest Pakistani craze

Posted on April 18th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

PakistanDon't try this one at home. A grimly fascinating report in Pakistan's Dawn newspaper April 15 features an interview with an aging scorpion-venom addict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the border with Afghanistan. Sohbat Khan, 74, says he has been smoking scorpions to get high off the venom since the '60s, and only recently managed to kick the habit—by switching to opium. "Drugs are beaten by other drugs," he sadly told a reporter, speaking in his native Pashto. The stuff sppears be highly addictive, and when Khan could not find scorpions in his village, he would travel to Peshawar, the regional capital, to buy them in the market. The piece does not make clear if the scorpion trade is officially tolerated by authorities.

Pakistan: paramilitary anti-pot repression predictably pointless

Posted on December 3rd, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

PakistanPakistan's Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) on Nov. 20 announced the latest in a string of of mega-scale hashish busts in recent months. A 4.2-ton haul was reported from a "desolate site" near the mountain village of Tehsil Gulistan, in Qilla Abdullah district of Balochistan province. Authorities said the mega-stash had been deposited along with a smaller quantity of heroin in a hidden spot behind bushes for traffickers to collect for export. (Pakistan Today)

Cops bust cops in Pakistan hash hauls

Posted on September 19th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

PakistanOn two separate occasions last week, agents of Pakistan's Anti Narcotics Force raided the offices of another elite police division, the Anti Violent Crime Cell, in the port city of Karachi—seizing large quantities of hashish and heroin. First, Dunya News reported that on Sept. 16, ANF agents arrested an AVCC agent at his office, and confiscated 137 kilograms of hashish. A drug suspect who was said to have been "illegally detained" by the AVCC was also found at the office, and presumably released. The next day, Daily Pakistan reported that the ANF again raided an AVCC office in the city, this time recovering 66 kilograms of hashish and two kilos of heroin.

China moves to restrict death penalty —but not for drugs

Posted on September 15th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

ChinaUnited Nations human rights experts on Sept. 11 welcomed a recommendation to abolish the death penalty by India, as well as a decision to reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty in the world's top executioner by far: China.  The better news was that concerning India—which has thousands on death row, but has only carried out four executions so far this century (AP, July 29).

Hashish mega-haul in Pakistan points to new production zone

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

South AsiaPakistan's Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Sept. 7 announced the seizure of a huge shipment of hashish, weighing 3.37 metric tons, and said to be destined for international markets. An ANF unit carried out the raid in a remote area of Balochistan province, apparently acting on a tip. The raid targeted what was called a "desolate site" in Qilla Abduallah district, along the border with Afghanistan. The stash was reportedly stuffed in plastic bags at a hidden location.

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