Odisha is ganja’s ground zero

Rural communities see the weed as a route to survival
The Hindu (India)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hemp grows illegally in vast stretches of Odisha’s inaccessible forested regions, making it one of the top cannabis-producing States in India. The plant is luxuriant in highly-suited climatic conditions, and its growth is aided by low police movement in Maoist-affected hilly regions as well as pervasive rural poverty. Out of over 8,500 acres of cannabis crop destroyed across the country during 2016-17, Odisha accounted for 47% with 4,028 acres. Despite the acreage of cannabis destroyed by enforcers going up three-fold in the State in the past five years, officials say the detected cultivation is just the tip of the iceberg. (See also: Odisha second in country to destroy cannabis cultivation)