Nepal Makes Largest Marijuana Bust In History


Landrace cannabis grows wild in Nepal

Police in Nepal reported on Monday that they have made the largest marijuana bust in the nation’s history, seizing about 2.5 tons from a dealer near the capital city, Kathmandu.

Officers found 5,820 pounds (2,640 kilos) of cannabis packed into 88 plastic sacks “and bound for India,” police superintendent Sher Bahadur Basnet told Agence France Presse.
The haul had a street value in Nepal of about $155,000, according to Basnet, but it would be worth far more on the international market.

“We were tipped off about this more than a month ago and we were investigating it,” Basnet said. “On Saturday, the smugglers were preparing to transport the consignment from the jungle.”

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Landrace cannabis in Nepal

“This is the largest capture of the drug since our office was set up in 1992,” Basnet said. “We have seized up to 700 kilograms before but this is a big deal.”
Basnet said cannabis goes for about $58 (5,000 rupees) a kilo on the streets of Nepal’s capital city. (No wonder Bob Seger was “goin’ to K-K-K-K-K-Kathmandu.”)
Five men, all in their 20s, have been arrested. They face prison sentences of up to 10 years, and fines of 100,000 rupees if convicted.
Nepal’s culture has been accepting of cannabis use for thousands of years, and Western intolerance for the herb has yet to take hold there, even though the country in 1973 finally outlawed marijuana under heavy pressure from the United States.
The wide availability of quality cannabis attracts tourists from around the world, and has for decades. Nepal was a particularly popular destination on the 1960s and 70s “hippie trail.”
In areas of the country popular with tourists, it’s not uncommon for Nepali men to come up to passersby and whisper “Smoke hash?”
Nepal’s official ban on cannabis has only recently begun to see occasional crackdowns. Police in many areas still regularly allow marijuana to be sold to tourists.