Crime: Thimphu police detained two men for possessing more than 100 grammes of marijuana hashish on September 14.

Following a tip-off, a 23- and a 27-year-old man were arrested when they were found “rubbing” marijuana in a paddy field in Genekha, Thimphu.

Police seized a total of 18 hashish sticks weighing 65.36 grams from the 23-year-old and 55.9 grams from the 27-year-old.

Both tested positive for abusing cannabis.

A police official said that going by the quantity the men possess, the accused were charged for illicit trafficking of cannabis and it’s derivatives.

The Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan (NDPSAA) 2015 classifies cannabis under schedule I of the Act, describing it as narcotic drugs with no medicinal value.

Therefore, according to the Act, cultivation and domestication of cannabis is an offence. Harvesting or collection of cannabis is prohibited, except for production of fibre and animal feed.

The Act also states that a defendant shall be guilty of an offence of illicit trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives, regardless of the degree of purity, if he or she exports, stores, sells, purchases, transports, distributes, or supplies cannabis or its derivatives if it is more than the quantity determined in schedule VII of the Act.

The offence of illicit trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives is a felony of third degree if the quantity is more than two times the quantity determined in the Schedule VII of the Act, which is seven grammes in case of hashish.

Dechen Tshomo