Cannabis culture in twin cities

Mishal Kamran

The terrifying increase in consumption of drugs, specifically Cannabis, among youth of Twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi is becoming a major issue. Our govt does not seem to be paying any attention to fact that these drugs are so widely and inexpensively available, usually just one sms or call away.
Many start as early as 12, following the footsteps of their brothers, friends or even uncles. The Survey revealed by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report in 2013 validates that Cannabis is consumed by 3.6% of the population in Pakistan, aged between 15 and 64. In Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the ‘High’ culture is spreading like a disease. Addiction is becoming a new trend and described as “cool” by the consumers. “Chars” which is also known as weed, marijuana, hash and dope are the most common type of drugs in these cities which are usually available at most ‘khokas’ and ‘Dhabbas’ where young boys gather to flame a joint, which is a rolled marijuana cigarette.
There are a number of reasons behind such alarmingly increased consumption of Marijuana. “Peer pressure” is one of the major reasons. Some people try it to gain the acceptability of their friends or to fit in. Escape mentality, where people consider it escapism or the only way to deal with their problems, also contributes to the cause of such bizarre trend. The easy access and cheap rates also make it very accessible. Cannabis is being cultivated in backyard and farmhouses of many Drug dealers in Islamabad and is within reach at every University, college and school. Gatekeepers, Cab drivers and sometimes Policemen are also good sources to buy it. They are usually delivered from Peshawar and distributed all around Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
It is my request to the authorities concerned to address this issue as soon as possible. A number of awareness Campaigns and seminars should be organized with the construction of Couselling Centers for Cannabis and Drug consumers. The immediate action should be taken against the sources as more lenient the Law enforcement is, the younger the are the new victims of Drugs.

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