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Ganja Farmers Move Into High Gear


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Merchants involved in the illicit ganja trade are surreptitiously postitioning themselves to cash in on the business opportunities expected from the influx of between 12,000 and 15,000 visitors projected to arrive in the island for the international event.

According to one marijuana dealer in the resort town of Negril, it is an open secret that a great number of visitors to our shores passionately crave the 'weed'.

He argued that among those who use the drug are spring breakers - college students mostly from North America who consume a lot of alcholol and smoke ganja cigarettes at Spring Break parties.

He also claimed that some tourists even visit the ganja fields to get a first-hand experience of how the plant is grown, as well as to smoke the weed, which is predominantly of the highest grade - namely 'Ice', 'Purple Skunk' and 'Pineapple Skunk' - in a quiet environment.

In the meantime, the farmers expect the large number of supporters from the 16 participating teams will undoubtedly drive the demand for the product higher throughout the duration of the tournament.

In light of this, some ganja farmers in Westmoreland are earnestly preparing their ganja crop to be harvested around the time of CWC 2007.

Earlier this week, a farmer, who spoke to the Observer West on condition of anonymity, disclosed that at this time of year the weed was in short supply. He noted that during drought periods the ganja trees come to fruition over a shorter time span but there was a decline in the quantity.

"During the drought we produce weed from between one month and six weeks. But during the spring time it takes over two months to get ready, but them bulkier," he explained.
Scarcity, however, has sent the price skyrocketing to upwards of $6,000 per pound, in comparison to the average $3,000 per pound when it is more abundant.

He was, however, quick to point out that although the trade was lucrative, ganja production was becoming more and more risky as members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, with assistance from the Jamaica Defence Force soldiers were locating ganja fields and destroying them.

"The soldiers fly over in their choppers and spot out the weed then they bring police and chop down the fields and burn up the herbs," he declared.

Meanwhile, senior superintendent of police in charge of Narcotics Carlton Wilson, noted that the narco-cops have recorded a high level of success in the destruction of the weed since the start of this year.

"We have been extremely successful. We have intensified our activities in terms of eradication and enforcement and we have had quite an amount of success," said Wilson. "In comparison to this period last year, we are in excess of the amount of acreage that we have actually destroyed. We have also significantly come way above in terms of seizure."

He added: "We carried out a lot of arrests for the drugs and we have seen an increase so far in the foreigners arrested at the international airports."

Source: The Jamaica Observer
Copyright: 2000-2001 Jamaica Observer
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