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Photo: Nepal Mountain News
A sadhu smokes marijuana at Pashupatinath, Kathmandu, Nepal at the Shivaratri festival. Hundreds of holy men from Nepal and India gather yearly for the festival, where religious-based cannabis use is common.

‚ÄčThousands of holy men — known as sadhus — have been banned from selling cannabis to religious festival-goers at an ancient temple in Nepal.

Hindu devotees are gathering at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu to celebrate the holy festival of Shivaratri. Sadhus — Hindu holy men who renounce the world around them for spiritual goals — traditionally celebrate Shivaratri by smoking cannabis, reports Joanna Jolly at the BBC.
But those found selling pot at the temple this year will face eviction or even arrest by armed police, temple officials say — even if they are holy men.
Since last week, plainclothes police have been “mingling” with the sadhus to “identify anyone selling drugs.” Meanwhile, religious festival attendees are forced to endure the sight of young, gung-ho law enforcement officers defiling and disrespecting a venerated spiritual tradition dating back thousands of years.
About 20 sadhus have already been arrested and forced to an area outside the city, according to officials.