February 20, 2012 Posted By : parakhi
Police personnel have arrested more than 70 people for using marijuana during the Shivaratri festival. The law does not allow use of marijuana but sadhus - the holy men get around the law due to an ancient legal loophole which permits them to smoke the drug during the Shivaratri festival. According to police officials, the arrestees were mostly youth and none of the sadhus were arrested.
The government had taken a more passive and tolerant approach in previous years but last year, it had banned sadhus from selling marijuana to the general public. The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) allows sadhus to use the drugs for their personal use. The government had deployed more than 5,000 police personnel to manage the security during the festival at the Pashupatinath Temple.
Police officials informed the media that they arrested only those who were found using marijuana excessively and had warned others who smoked marijuana for their personal use only. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva smoked marijuana and many of his followers smoke the drug to honor Shiva.
http://www.parakhi.com/news/2012/02/20/ ... shivaratri