10 Nov 2014

Asylum seekers on Manus Island turn to marijuana

9:43 am on 10 November 2014

A Manus Island detainee alleges a third of asylum seekers in detention on the Papua New Guinea island is turning to marijuana to relieve their suffering.

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Photo: AFP

A detainee has told Guardian Australia that a black market for the drug exists on Manus, and unhappy detainees are easy targets for dealers.

The detainee estimates more than 10 percent of asylum seekers use marijuana every night and almost half from time to time.

The newspaper reports detainees usually throw packets of cigarettes over the fence and dealers throw a few grams of marijuana, wrapped in foil, back over the detention centre fence.

The detainee says some people have displayed signs of withdrawal when the drug cannot be sourced while others have had psychotic episodes after smoking the drug.