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Afghanistan Cannabis Survey 2009

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"The Western policies against the opium crop have been a failure. They did not result in any damage to the Taleban."

Perhaps because the Taleban have never been involved in Opium production or profited from it as the Opium monopoly is run by members of the Afghan government and their

relatives in the Northern alliance or are we to believe one or two provinces supplies 90% of the worlds Opium?.

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Hi Hughie

the evidence suggest that both sides, the Taleban and the Afghan Government, have been heavily involved in opium and charas production in the north and south... the Northern Alliance (United Front) was broken up in about 2004 or so

the Taleban have been heavily involved in production of opium in the south and the east

I don't think Afghanistan supplies 90% of the world's opium - there is still a lot of production in Mexico, South and Central American, India and areas of Southeast Asia... production in India is massive

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Afghanistan Cannabis Survey 2010

ht tp://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/publications-by-date.html

illustrated 56 page report

28th June 2011

Edited by namkha

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Afghanistan the New Mexico?: Assassinations and the Drug Trade


In the last few months, the Afghan drug trade has entered a new phase of power struggles that could lead to the sort of violence that plagues Mexicans on a daily basis. The trigger has been four key assassinations of government officials who were alleged drug barons. Their deaths have already opened the door to significant consequences for Afghanistan’s narco-economy.

More than anything, the assassinations have resulted in a power grab among the stakeholders in the multi-billion dollar Afghan drug trade – Afghanistan produces 95 percent of the world’s opium and heroin. There is now a real threat of death squads, more violence and a breakdown of the community and tribal links that have thus far prevented Afghanistan from becoming another Mexico.

Four Assassinations

The four men who were killed are the former governor of Uruzgan Province (and close friend of Afghan President Hamid Karzai) Jan Mohammad Khan, who was killed on July 18 in Kabul; the President's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who was killed on July 12 at the hands of a close ally in Kandahar; the head of police for the northern region, General Mohammad Daud Daud, who was killed on May 28 in Takhar; and the Provincial Police Chief of Kandahar, Khan Muhammad Mujahid, who died in a Taliban-facilitated suicide bombing on April 15.

All of these men maintained potent patron-client relationships that went back for decades. Their loss has produced a dangerous power vacuum in the hierarchy of drug trafficking.

Karzai’s brother was the most powerful of the four men. He was accused of drug trafficking at the same time that he was reported to be on the CIA payroll for aiding foreign troops with their fight against the insurgency. The allegations included providing protection for narcotics convoys to pass through Kandahar, killing those who crossed him, and direct trafficking of opium and heroin.

But Karzai was never arrested -- if the United States had removed the influential southern leader, the risk that smaller bandits of drug traffickers would seize power was high. For the United States and NATO, Karzai’s ability to keep Kandahar somewhat secure was more important than his forays in trafficking.

Jan Mohammad Khan, one of the most powerful tribal leaders of central Afghanistan, was also accused of links to the drug trade. Unlike Karzai, in 2006, Khan was fired from his position as governor following strong protests from NATO and U.S. officials who accused him of corruption, links to the drug trade, and human rights violations.

Under his tenure, nearly 80 percent of the province’s villages engaged in the drug trade.

And then there is Daud, a drug-dealer who served as Afghanistan’s anti-drug czar from 2004 until President Karzai transferred him from his post in 2010. Daud, who was once a bodyguard of slain Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, was a key figure in supporting the drug trade, receiving thousands of dollars in exchange for protecting other smugglers who transported narcotics.

Afghanistan, the New Mexico?

Afghanistan is the world’s number one producer of opium and heroin but it does not have the ominous cartels and paramilitary militias who terrorize Latin America. Mexico lost 34,000 people in its drug war between December 2006 until the end of 2010, according to official estimates by the Mexican government. Although violence soared since President Felipe Calderon declared war against the cartels in December 2006, the carnage worsened after the United States helped assassinate Beltran Leyva, the godfather of the Sinalao cartel, in late 2009.

In Afghanistan, the United States has arrested and extradited four other Afghan kingpins in the last five years: Haji Bashir Noorzai, Haji Juma Khan, Haji Bachgo, and Haji Baaz Mohammad. They are in American prisons, either convicted of drug smuggling or awaiting trial. But none of them had the charisma and ability to crush opposition like the men who were recently assassinated.

Deaths related to drugs in Afghanistan haven’t reached the tens of thousands as they have in Mexico. One reason could be the tribal links that powerbrokers like Karzai’s brother invoked to preserve a level of stability. With all four gone, that stability is threatened and it’s likely that insurgents, more malicious militia commanders and neighboring drug mafias from Pakistan and Uzbekistan will gain ground.

America’s Role in Afghanistan’s Drug Trade

Fighting drug dealers is a relatively new priority for the United States. Though the U.S. has appropriated more than $4.5 billion for counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan since 2002, measurable success in the war on drugs is elusive as security has been a top priority since the beginning of the war.

In 2009, the Obama administration began a new plan of attacking the narcotics-corruption-insurgency nexus. The policy shift came after the United States could no longer ignore exuberant profits that Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants reaped from the Afghan opium trade – moderate estimates put this in the tens of millions of U.S. dollars.

So the United States began selectively busting drug dealers both directly, by targeting high profile traffickers and traders, and indirectly with the help of foreign troops who fight drug dealing insurgents and also provide alternatives to poppy farming.

The Future of the Narco-Economy

Now that these four men are gone, the Taliban and rival criminal syndicates have a chance to consolidate the drug rings that operate in their turfs. But there’s also the problem of the government itself.

Hampered by corruption, Karzai’s government is a significant obstacle to long-term counter-narcotics policies. His protection of drug dealers in the government -- he pardoned five of them in April 2009 because one of the men was related to his campaign manager – has prolonged his tenure, but with the new power vacuum, he is losing ground in the drug war.

It remains unlikely that the Afghan government’s counter-narcotics efforts will be robust enough to create the conditions needed to wane rural farming communities off of the narco-economy. And inconsistencies in United States and Afghan resolve to seriously address the ongoing narcotics conundrum has also led to regional tensions with both the Russian Federation and Iran, both of whom suffer tremendously from Afghan-origin narcotics.

As a result, international and domestic efforts to stabilize the country will continue to be plagued, and strains in relations with bordering states could set the stage for what can become another Mexico.

Fariba Nawa is an Afghan-American freelance journalist and author of the upcoming book Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Home to Afghanistan.

Matthew DuPée is a counter-narcotics and security specialist at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

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tbh from what ive read alot of people rely on selling hashish to be able to eat. my mate smoked some over there which was being grown, whe he was in the army he said it was shit. compeard to what you get here.

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tbh from what ive read alot of people rely on selling hashish to be able to eat.

that's true

my mate smoked some over there which was being grown, whe he was in the army he said it was shit. compeard to what you get here.

I've seen crap Afghan hash in Pakistan that was cut with henna, and bad border hash that was just bad - made from bad water starved plants

I'm sure there's shite hash in Afghanistan - and low grade stuff made from what's lest after they've done the 1st and 2nd grade

the Afghan hash I've seen in the UK hash mostly been the stuff that never really gets you high

but - good Afghan hash is great - like good Mazar-i-Sharif

the highest grade of garda can be absolutely stellar --- no matter how good the best Moroccan is getting these days, I still don't believe it can match the best Mazar-i-Sharif garda...

this is a photo taken on a duff camera phone - the pieces on the bottom right are the first grade garda --- the balls are the same stuff rolled by hand, and then the flat piece is the same stuff pressed flat by hand

as garda it was dense, sticky, and had a real red colour like you can see - it smelled incredible - like hashy orangey juniper coffee - it was lovely stuff - and when you rolled it into charas as it got more black it got sweeter smelling

I do like a nice bit of high grade Moroccan hash, don't get me wrong, but I still reckon the best aromas and highs come from the Asian stuff - Afghan, Chitrali, Nepalese... I'd choose good Leb over good Moroccan most times I reckon too

edit: the other photo is of some other Mazar-i-Sharif type garda

it says Sheberghan on the photos, but basically they were all Mazar-i-Sharif type plants and charas



Edited by namkha
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More Afghan families turn to cannabis cultivation


High crop prices fuel increase in number of growers, adding to drug-control problems in world leader for opium production

Monday 8 October 2012


The number of Afghan families growing cannabis as a cash crop leapt by more than a third last year, the UN has said.

The increase adds to the drug-control problem in a country that is already the world's top producer of opium.

Prices for the best quality resin have nearly tripled since 2009, to $95 (£60) a kilogramme, adding to the lure of a crop that can earn farmers more than opium poppies. It is also is generally looked on more leniently by authorities targeting drug crops.

As a result, Afghanistan's importance as a source of cannabis resin for world markets may be growing, the report warns, as other producers, such as Morocco, are producing a smaller share.

Afghan farmers were expected to produce around 1,300 tonnes of cannabis in 2011, the Afghanistan cannabis survey estimated. That is a similar amount to the previous two years, but with many more farmers turning to the crop.

Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the head of the UNODC office in Afghanistan, said: "It is clear that while the domestic consumption is very high, it does not nearly cover the 1,300 tons produced during 2011. The export of cannabis is thus a significant economic life line."

Around 65,000 households grew cannabis in 2011, compared with 47,000 the year before, its said. The survey omits "kitchen garden" growers, who cultivate a handful of plants for themselves or to sell locally: these are believed to produce a tiny fraction of the national crop.

"The cannabis price rise has developed in parallel with the opium price hike caused by the opium crop failure in 2010, making its per-hectare income similar to that of opium and thus financially very attractive to farmers," the UN report said.

"But because cannabis cultivation is less labour intensive – less weeding is involved and the extraction of 'garda' (powdered cannabis resin) can be done at home in a matter of weeks with the help of family members instead of hired labour – it is actually more cost-effective than opium."

Unlike opium, which matures rapidly and needs little irrigation, cannabis is a water-intensive crop that needs a long time to grow, prohibiting the planting of another crop. Partly for this reason, farmers tend to grow the plant on a sporadic basis rather than every year.

But the two illicit crops often coexist, with the centre of cannabis cultivation shifting from the north to the opium poppy heartland in the south over the last five years, the report said.

"There is a clear geographical association between opium and cannabis cultivation at the provincial level," the report said. "That association exists at a household level, too, with almost two thirds of cannabis-growing households (58%) also reporting poppy cultivation in the preceding season."

Three-quarters of farmers said they grew the crop because of high sales prices; the 2011 crop was worth around $95m, the UN estimated, although this was less than the 2010 crop. That year, a larger crop was produced, but by fewer households.

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Afghanistan Cannabis Survey 2011

ht tp://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/2011_Afghanistan_Cannabis_Survey_Report_w_cover_small.pdf

Edited by namkha
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Aye, had some lovely Afghan this year, had a minty smell to it as well as that lovely oily hash smell, smoked a treat, no harshness no

strange tinge in the smell that you get with the duff bits, dreamy stone, pure time loser very drifty :D:stoned:

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yeh, and imagine if it was legal and the farmers got a fair trade price

if they want to stop "Talebanisation" and the insurgency, then how about letting the farmers make an honest living from cannabis?

I rekcon it will work a lot better than bombing them, shooting them, and ripping up their fields every year

There is so much truth in this statement. Thanks for keeping up the good fight man. :skin_up:

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Did you read Dalrymple's 'return of the king' about 1842 infamous Hon'rable Company fiasco in Afghanistan? Fascinating.

His take on the big mutiny is also a must read for anyone interested in India's history.

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"boy, that stuff's good... it's strong man"

US soldiers smoking pure Afghan hashish from a hookah (1.55 mins in you can see the coil of charas beneath the ember)

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Somehow, toking up versus being armed and engaged in warfare are just two states of being that do not and cannot exist concurrently in my reality.

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A couple of those fellas looked like hardened bong tokers. "I hit it hard..."

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