Maoists and marijuana
FROM ISSUE #68 (16 NOV 2001 - 22 NOV 2001) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Living under Maoist rule has brought at least one benefit to the villagers living in the north-western parts of Makwanpur district. Since the Maoist "people's government" was declared there-meaning there is no police presence-farmers in the dozen or so Village Development Committees have turned their attention to nurturing their preferred cash crop: marijuana. Previously, police carried out frequent raids and burnt marijuana harvests. The Maoists, who had earlier declared the area a "marijuana free zone" by continuing the police practice, appear to have changed their minds. Apparently, they're happy to turn a blind eye as long as they too, like other local protectors, including mainstream politicians and some men in uniform, get their cut of the profits from the sale of the narcotic across the border in India. By one report, last year police got their hands on 8,000 kg of marijuana and destroyed the crop in 74.5 hectares.