Drug trafficking in Goa is not a new story but usually it was linked with the foreigners coming to Goa. The involvement of Nigerians and Russians into the drug peddling had been established long time back. But Goans controlling the drug trade is surely a new story. Recently the calangute MLA Michael Lobo said that there is a rise in Goans selling drugs. He said that the scenario has changed in last few years whereby the trade of foreigner now controlled by Goans.
Lobo was speaking on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking organized by the Kripa Foundation along with Dr. Rajesh Patil, Superintendent of Narcotics Control Bureau Jeetendra Ranjan and Dr. Ajoy Estebiro. He said that “Though drug trade was mainly done by foreigners around seven years ago, but in the last three to four years, there is decline in foreigners selling drugs and rise in Indian or Goans selling drugs”. Dr. Rajesh Patil enlightened the gathering that “Goa is a small and beautiful state but we find an alarming rise in alcohol addiction.” He also added “We are not getting support from society. Locals come forward with random suggestions but if we ask them specific details about drug peddling there is no much cooperation.”
The awareness was also created by the flash mob in another program organized at the bus stand; students from Fr. Agnel Collage took part and performed to create the awareness in general public. On this occasion Lobo assured that he will be taking up this issue of drugs and dance bars besides others with the government in the forthcoming assembly session. “One will see a number of questions on these issues being raised in the assembly,” he said. When asked about the task committee which was supposed to be constituted to keep a check on drugs, prostitution and dance bars in the coastal areas, he said that no initiative towards that has been taken as yet. “I would remind Chief Minster to constitute the committee,” he said. He also said, “As an MLA of Calangute I am happy that things are under control now. Drug peddlers who once were active today do not have any stock with them to sell.”
Whatever the MLAs and ministers says about the drugs in public gathering can be considered just as an eyewash as Goa has been struggling with this drug menace for long time now and nothing concrete has been done yet to fight with this monster. We have here some reactions of the local people (courtesy: Herald Café) on this issue of drug menace on this occasion of “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”
Viresh Vazirani, an engineering student who works closely with music concerts and events in his spare time, says, “I feel that the party organizers in Goa are doing their best to check abuse of drugs, considering the amount of checking that takes place at the entryway. In fact, I’ve never heard of drug sales being done inside the venue of the EDM festivals that I’ve been to. If attendees consume drugs outside and attend the festival, I don’t think we can blame the festival organizers. If someone overdoses on drugs, the risk to his life is equal, irrespective of the venue, whether he goes raving at a festival or sits at home. If we are vigilant, drug peddlers won’t find any space in Goa to carry out their activities.”
Viki Vaurora, a 23-year-old musician and recording engineer who is spearheading the movement in India experienced the effects of marijuana while studying music production in London and says it helped him overcome depression. Vaurora said, “Countries like Israel and Netherlands have been researching the medicinal value of the plant for years. It has proven to help people with cancer, diabetes, leukaemia and bipolar disorder. To top it, cannabis is easily available in nature and easily accessible.”
A student of Government Engineering College, Goa, on condition of anonymity, says, “The cannabis flower not only has medical properties but its stem too can be used to make hemp fibre which can be used in the making of clothes, ropes and even hemp plastic. I don’t think the government has the right to tell people what they can consume and what they can’t, especially when they allow companies to openly sell tobacco and alcohol which have been proven to be harmful to an individual. Marijuana on the other hand doesn’t have adverse effects and isn’t addictive either.”
Pranay Purohit, Panjim- “The problem lies with the fact that most kids cannot talk to their parents freely about issues like sexual orientation, drugs, etc. And it’s a proven thing that if you ask someone not to do a certain thing, the person will try his / her best to do it. If parents are able to have free conversations with their children, we won’t have as many drug addicts around”.
Ashwini Raikar, Valpoi – “There’s a reason why Marijuana has been banned in India. Although ‘weed’ has medicinal qualities, it has negative effects too. It affects the decision taking capabilities of the human nervous system. Songs like ‘Dum Maaro Dum’, apart from bringing a bad name to Goa, glamourise consumption of drugs. This should be stopped”.
Source: Various Sources