An Indian village popular with tourists for its local cannabis product is fed-up with the unsupervised influx of stoners, and residents want to limit the number of visitors.
According to Lonely Planet, Malana is locatated in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu valley, and is famous for its THC-rich ‘Malana cream’.
Not only is it a draw for cannabis-connoisseurs, but it’s also crucial to the village’s economy. The village itself is home to 5 000 residents, all claiming to be the descendants of deserters from Alexander the Great’s army, and has its own dialect and government system.
The tourism influx over the past few decades has resulted in several restaurants and accommodation establishments popping up in the tiny village.
Now, according to the Hindustan Times, villagers claim that a local deity – Jamlu – has demanded their closure, in order to protect the village’s unique culture.
“The deity did not want any of the villagers to rent out their property for running guest houses and restaurants,” says villager Bhag Ram. “He has forbidden everyone from doing this, and those violating his orders will have to bear the brunt of his curse.”
Earlier this year, photography was banned in the village, as locals felt that images were overlooking Malana’s real culture in favour of the narco-tourism.
Interestingly, the village’s hashish trade was instigated by outsiders in the ‘80s, who effectively showed villagers how to make a living off cannabis.
The Hindustan Times adds that efforts to stem the narcotics trade have been in vain, as Malana cream fetches far more than maize, potatoes and hemp-fibre products.