According to data from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India, there are 100 million drug users in the country, with consumption rising 70 percent in the last eight years. In Bengaluru alone, there has been a nearly 10-fold increase in cases over the last three years, with India’s Silicon Valley registering the highest number of cases related to narcotics in the country in 2020. News reports and online forums refer to people’s phones being snatched, with cops searching their chat and photo applications for keywords like “score,” “ganja” and “pot”.
Internationally, technology has played a mixed role in the drug market. Across the U.S. and Europe, where weed is getting increasingly legalised, tech start-ups are innovating how people get high. New breakthroughs in tracking and detection have aided law enforcement, and improved drug treatment services to help healthcare professionals reach more patients.
But as the pandemic fuelled a major increase in drug usage worldwide, according to the World Drug Report 2021 by the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), buyers and sellers soon overcame initial lockdown restrictions. Advances in communication technology, e-commerce, and digital payments have made it easier to expand operations and bypass the law.
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