A 26-year-old man and an accomplice were arrested for growing cannabis at the former's residence in Chembur in Mumbai after ordering seeds from abroad using the Darknet and paying through bitcoins, police said on Tuesday. Mahul-resident Nikhil Sharma was arrested with one kilogram of cannabis and 54 grams of mephedrone on Saturday by Unit III of the Crime Branch after which they raided his home where the cultivation was discovered, an official said. "He was using hydroponic system to grow cannabis in his home. He used the Darknet to order seeds from abroad and paid by bitcoins, which are illegal in India," the official said.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in water solvent instead. "Sharma named Frenix Rajaiyya (26) as his accomplice in procuring the cannabis seeds from the dark web after which he too was arrested. They were remanded in police custody till Friday," he informed.
A recent government survey had found that nearly 3 percent of Indians use cannabis to get high with Uttar Pradesh topping the chart in use of the narcotic substance. According to the survey, bhang is the most common form of cannabis used in the country, followed by ganja and charas. Conducted by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the survey titled "Prevalence and Extent of Substance Use in India" covered all 36 states and Union territories.
The survey found that 3.1 crore Indians between the age of 10 and 75 years or 2.8 percent of the total population used cannabis in the last twelve months to get high.
According to the government, about 72 lakh individuals need help for their cannabis use problems.
It said that though bhang use is more common, the prevalence of harmful use is proportionately higher for people who smoke ganja and charas.
The states which have recorded use of cannabis more than the national average include Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab, the report said.
In some states like Sikkim and Punjab, the prevalence of cannabis use disorders is more than thrice the national average.
In the World Drug Report 2018, the United Nations Office and Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has estimated that around 3.9 pc of the global population aged 15-64 years use cannabis.