Hash Dealers in India Are Using Instagram to Find Tourist Buyers
By searching tagged photos, India’s dealers are able to solicit out-of-towners online.
Published on March 23, 2017


In the Indian state of Himachal Paradesh, weed dealers are taking full advantage of 21st century technology to connect with tourists in need of a little ganja on vacation.

According to the Hindustan Times, dealers peruse Instagram daily to load off their supply of charas (cannabis). By searching hashtags and geotags associated with local tourist destinations and hot spots, Himachal Paradesh’s dealers are able to easily contact clients looking for hash.

The illicit-businessmen will send huge swaths of direct messages to Instagram users using their selected hashtags or location pinpoints. On their own pages, dealers will often have photos of their product and a phone number.

If a user responds, the dealers will set up an in-person meet up or suggest shipping their hash through Speed-Post, a government run courier service."We can send up to 1 kg as the post department guys can pack that much in such a way that it won’t be detected,” one dealer told the Hindustan Times.

However, selling hash is still very much a crime in India, and cops are well aware of the new techniques being used to sling hash.

"Look, charas is sold here and is sent outside too. That’s a fact. And we constantly work on curbing it. We did get some input about such manner of selling (via social media) some months ago, but nothing much came of it... We are on it," a local cop told the Hindustan Times.

The two Instagram handles mentioned in the Times article have since both been deleted, but that doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared. The dealers have also been known to use WhatsApp to exchange confidential messages and bank information for long distance deals.  

No matter where you end up around the world, cannabis will generally be available somehow. But while tourists once had to do some serious digging and potentially venture way out of their comfort zone to find a hook-up, technology has truly bridged the gap, making it easier than ever to get your cannabis fix abroad.

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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