Tanzania: Marijuana Growers Change Trick - Police

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(file photo).

Arusha — Police have said that growers of marijuana have turned to growing the plant in thick forests to try and evade law enforcers.

Regional police commander Charles Mkumbo revealed this during a recent operation led by the Home Affairs minister Mwigulu Nchemba in which marijuana covering six acres was destroyed.

"We are aware of this trick and we will not relent in our efforts to fight cultivation of marijuana which has destroyed our youth," he told the minister.

The heavily forested slopes of Mt Meru at Kisimiri has been notorious for growing the narcotic plant, also known as bhang, as efforts to control it failed.

The RPC reiterated that the police would have no mercy on the perpetrators.

In recent years, bags of the harvested and dried marijuana have been seized by the police being transported for sale mostly in Arusha and Dar es Salaam with some consignments taken to Kenya.

Minister Mwigulu, who led the special operation at Engalaoni hamlet,warned the government would not hesitate to confiscate vehicles found to be transporting bhang and other narcotic drugs.

He told reporters that the crackdown would be extended to the chemical substances imported or manufactured locally which are addictive and consumed as narcotics.

The RPC also added that the crackdown would continue but wondered why the local leaders have been indifferent to people behind the illegal activity.

During similar operations mounted by the police and other security organs last year at least 17 hectares of marijuana were destroyed around Kisimiri Village.

Police also impounded and destroyed 267 bags and 1,400 rolls of marijuana originating from the area in the crackdown against drug abuse and peddling.

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