The Indian Ministry of the Interior and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have decided to use drones to destroy illegal hemp plantations before harvesting.
Cannabis will be poisoned by chemicals
NCB staff will analyze satellite imagery of farmland to locate cannabis crops hidden behind common plants. Photos of the area will be made using the technology of penetration through the foliage of trees, so hemp bushes can be found even in the forest area. They are going to send drones to the cannabis cultivation site, which will spray chemicals on the plants.
India has chosen a US government anti-marijuana scheme. Americans have long used planes and drones to detect and exterminate hemp crops. Indian law enforcement agencies will pay particular attention to states located in the north-east of the country, as smugglers and cannabis traffickers are more active in these regions. In 2019, Andhra Pradesh police confiscated 2,160 kg of marijuana, and 2,328 kg was seized in the city of Kanpur. In 2018, security forces carried out 24,000 special operations to curb smuggling and hemp trade, as a result of which 414 tons of marijuana was withdrawn from circulation.
Alternative mechanisms to combat hemp cultivation
According to law enforcement officials, Indian hemp growers sell products to cartels, which then transport cannabis to neighboring states. Many farmers have to engage in illegal activities in order to earn a living. Therefore, the government proposes to apply not only measures of a repressive nature, but also alternative methods of combating the illegal cultivation of plants. In particular, educational programs will be held for farmers on the process of growing highly profitable plants. However, the main goal of the anti-drug policy is to destroy raw materials and punish criminals. Training courses will only be launched in those regions where cannabis grooving is the only source of income for farmers.
Current legislation permits the cultivation of cannabis for the production of traditional medicines used in homeopathy and Ayurveda. But unlicensed companies are punished in accordance with the Criminal Code. In addition, the cultivation of industrial hemp varieties is legalized in the country, from which bioplastics, hemp, and oil are produced.