Marijuana Replaces Opium As the Top Crop in Afghanistan

This post, written by Paddy, originally appeared on Cliff Schecter's Brave New Films Blog

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KHWAJA GHOLAK, Afghanistan - Amid the multiplying frustrations of the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan, the northern province of Balkh has been hailed as a rare and glowing success.
"As a consequence," the United Nations report warned, "farmers who do not cultivate opium poppy may turn to cannabis cultivation."
(snip)
Last year Mr. Ayud's parcel was mostly opium poppies. But his crop was wiped out by government officials during a campaign led by the provincial governor, Atta Mohammad Noor, who jailed dozens of growers for disobeying him and personally waded into several poppy fields swinging a stick at the flower stems.
(snip)
This year he planted cannabis instead, with some cotton as a fallback in case the government followed through on its promises to eradicate the illicit crop. It was a return to a family tradition, he said. His father and grandfather grew cannabis here.

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