Daily Revolt

November 28, 2007

Afghanistan Cannabis Crop Up 40 Percent

This stuff will end up on the streets of America. It is also making the terrorists rich, not to mention fueling the insurgency:
The fields of Balkh province in northern Afghanistan were free of opium poppies this year, a success touted often by Afghan and international officials. But one look at Mohammad Alam's fields uncovers an emerging drug problem.

Ten-foot-tall cannabis plants flourish in Alam's fields. The crop — the source of both marijuana and hashish — can be just as profitable as opium but draws none of the scrutiny from Afghan officials bent on eradicating poppies.

Cannabis cultivation rose 40 percent in Afghanistan this year, to 173,000 acres from 123,550 in 2006, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimated in its 2007 opium survey. The crop is being grown in at least 18 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, according to the survey released last month.

The U.N. report singles out Balkh as a "leading example" of an opium-free province, saying other areas should follow "the model of this northern region where leadership, incentives and security have led farmers to turn their backs on opium."

However, a section of the report says the increase in marijuana cultivation "gives cause for concern."

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