A garden with over 1,000 marijuana plants uncovered in Ea H'leo District of Đắk Lắk Province in January this year. VNA/VNS Photo
ĐẮK LẮK — Authorities in many localities have discovered many people growing plants containing drugs such as opium poppies and marijuana in recent times.
The situation has not only occurred in remote border areas as usual but also in towns and cities.
Although authorities have made it clear that people must not grow the plants for any purpose and any violation would be strictly handled, in recent years, many people were discovered illegally growing the plants.
Earlier this month, the police of the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk uncovered a couple in Krông Năng District who had illegally planted nearly 500 marijuana plants.
A working group of Krông Năng District police in collaboration with Ea Tan Commune police inspected the coffee fields of a farmer named Mai Năm and discovered 275 fresh marijuana plants with a height of 15 to 20cm and 54 stumps of dried marijuana.
Mai Năm and his wife confessed that on a bus ride, a stranger gave him a few seeds of cannabis to plant to treat ill chickens.
After growing the seeds for about three months, Mai Năm and his wife harvested and dried the plants and took the seeds for about 300 seedlings to grow more.
The police confiscated more than 10kg of dried marijuana plants and 1kg of marijuana flowers which was kept in his neighbour's house and it was seized.
In April, a farmer in Ea Tu Commune of Buôn Ma Thuột City was fine after he was found to be growing 410 marijuana plants on his farm.
Meanwhile, in the northern province of lào Cai, in March, local police discovered a number of people growing opium poppies in their rice fields.
When confronted, they all said that because of economic hardship wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic they planted poppy plants and sold them to tourists to increase their incomes.
In Hà Nội, there were some cases of growing poppy plants or psychedelic mushrooms at home.
In March, the police of Nam Từ Liêm District searched Đặng Trần Thành's house in Tây Tựu Ward and found 365 poppy plants in the garden.
Thành said that he had grown the plants because he had a long-term illness and was told that poppies soaked in alcohol can cure diseases, so he ordered poppy seeds on social networks to plant at home.
Police have issued warnings about intentionally growing opium poppies, hallucinogenic fungi or narcotic plants in any form.
According to the Drug Crime Investigation Police Department, more and more people are growing and using plants containing narcotic substances in many provinces and cities such as Hà Nội, Bắc Giang, Đắk Nông and Đắk Lắk.
They commonly grew in private houses, home gardens or rice fields and industrial forests to soak in wine, cure diseases or use for other purposes.
Police have also discovered marijuana nurseries equipped with irrigation systems and expensive LED lights.
At present, most of those caught growing the plants (including all those mentioned above) have only received fines as their acts have not reached the level of crimes.
Some fear this lack of a deterrent has led to an increased number of people growing narcotic plants in rural, mountainous and urban areas.
Along with a number of people who planted poppy plants for profit, many people have also grown poppies due to a lack of understanding of the law or their difficulties in life.
These cases have been difficult for authorities to handle.
If the cultivation and use of products from plants containing narcotic substances are not detected and prevented, the situation is at risk of being made worse by drug criminals.
In addition to dissemination of the law, drug police, especially commune-level police, must strengthen supervision of households to prevent, timely detect and strictly handle those who plant, sell, process and use illegal plants containing narcotic substances. VNS