When authorities in Nepal attempted to destroy cannabis crops in the rural town of Hetaunda this week, locals fought back in a big way. “Locals obstructed a team of police, who were set to destroy the cannabis farm, attacking with stones and firing guns, forcing police to launch a counterattack in Makawanpur district,” The Himalayan Times reported.
According to the newspaper, locals who were attempting to save their marijuana fields fired 15-20 rounds of bullets at the police.
The cops then fired 17 rounds of their own back at townspeople before the fighting stopped and the crowds dispersed. As of now, no injuries have been reported.
It also remains unclear whether or not the residents of Hetaunda successfully kept cops away from their cannabis fields or if the cops managed to destroy the crop.
Today’s fight between authorities and locals comes immediately on the heels of a ramped up effort by Nepalese authorities to combat the production, distribution, and use of cannabis.
During the last week of November, authorities in Nepal launched a heightened campaign to search out and destroy cannabis fields throughout the country.
The Himalayan Times reported that “locals have planted marijuana in more than a dozen” districts throughout the country.
And despite the fact that “police teams have destroyed marijuana plants” in several districts, “farmers have yet to stop marijuana cultivation.”
This story arrives against a larger backdrop of ongoing changes in international cannabis law.
In the U.S., for example, lawmakers have begun pushing to defund the DEA’s Cannabis Eradication Program, which for years has carried out a campaign very similar to that currently being pursued in Nepal.
Just last weekend, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet signed a decree removing marijuana from the country’s list of “hard drugs,” a move many see as an important step toward legalization.
There were even reports earlier this fall that the U.N. was prepared to issue a statement urging every country in the world to decriminalize not only cannabis but all drugs.
Unfortunately, the U.N. backed out at the last minute and failed to make its statement.
The battles going on right now between Nepalese cops and the people of Nepal over marijuana cultivation is another prime example of why such a statement would have been so powerful.