THE people of Ratubu in West Coast Namatanai, New Ireland province uprooted 680 marijuana plants in the past week.
This follows a seven-day operation which ended last Friday.
This was to allow those involved to uproot plants with the support of community leaders.
Police will be involved and any plants found not uprooted will result in the arrest of suspects.
From the 680 marijuana plants, 34 were matured and ready for sale while the rest were young plants.
Ratubu ward elder Tomuga Malagen said youths were heavily involved in drug cultivation and were growing marijuana.
“There is lack of police presence in our area, including government officers, to do awareness on this illegal activities. Youths no longer have respect for ward leaders,” he said.
“Our youths that are using marijuana cultivation to make a living must be aware of the destruction it is causing.”
Meantime, village court chairman for West Coast Papatar Mission, said marijuana is widespread with youths planting and smoking the drug.
“Some families are making money from this illegal business such as growing and selling marijuana, which is sad, because there are other positive options to look into.”
He gave a stern warning to the people cultivating and selling marijuana to stop what they are doing because it is illegal and affects people’s health.
Two gas cylinders were used for producing homebrew were brought and the plants have since been burnt.