Sunday, November 4, 2007

Afghanistan's Hippies

It may very well be possible to sit down and talk with the Afghanis.

Maybe pass around a joint, talk some peace and love.

"The War on Poppy Succeeds, but Cannabis Thrives in an Afghan Province" by KIRK SEMPLE

KHWAJA GHOLAK, Afghanistan — Many farmers in Balkh simply switched from opium poppies to another illegal crop: cannabis, the herb from which marijuana and hashish are derived.

Cannabis cultivation increased 40 percent around the country... And even though hashish is less expensive per weight than opium or heroin, a United Nations report said, cannabis can potentially earn a farmer more than opium poppies because it yields twice the quantity of drug per acre and is cheaper and less labor intensive to grow.

Balkh... province now has one of the most bounteous cannabis crops in the country. The plant is certainly not hard to find. It lines the main highways leading into Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, and is visible to passing drivers. The crop’s chief byproduct, hashish, is sold openly at many roadside fruit and grocery stands, particularly around Balkh, the ancient citadel town about 15 miles west of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Late on an October afternoon, Muhammad Ayud, 30, a kindly sharecropper, was finishing a day of work at the three-acre parcel he farms here in this poor village just outside the town of Balkh. His plot was covered by a forest of cannabis plants, some more than nine feet tall.

Mr. Ayud, one of only two wage earners in his 16-member family.... 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.

Mr. Ayud said he knew it was illegal to grow cannabis, but that it was the only crop that would produce enough profit to feed his family. “I don’t have anything else to grow,” he said. The difference in potential earnings is vast: cannabis can earn about twice the profits of a legal crop like cotton, local officials say.

Farmers in this region have cultivated cannabis for more than 70 years and, by the estimates of several Balkh residents, at least half the adult male population smokes hashish. Resinous, pungent and black, the hashish is sold in thin, palm-size sheets that resemble large tire patches and sell for about a dollar each. Hashish from this area — called Shirak-i-Mazar, or Milk of Mazar — was once prized by smokers around the world, though its primacy has since been supplanted by varieties from other countries.

Sounds like Afghanistan might have a bit of a drug problem (inhale)?

The rigid Muslims get fried (exhale)? Cough, cough!!

Many farmers here, as elsewhere in Afghanistan, process the cannabis into hashish in their homes, then sell it to traffickers who come to their doors to pick it up. The best hashish is exported, residents here say, while the inferior stuff is consumed nationally.

Selling their best stuff and smoking the shit?!

Fucking honest businessmen, them crazy Afghanis!!

Yeah, this nation AmeriKa needs to stop bombing these guys and start talking to them!

And no
chemical spraying, assholes!

Many farmers around the town of Balkh suggested that forswearing cannabis might be harder than poppies. Not only are cannabis and hashish a more integral part of their customs, they said, but beyond cannabis there are no profitable alternatives.

Hoshdel, 40, a well-weathered farmer in Khwaja Gholak who has nine children:

If they don’t help us, I swear I’ll grow it.”

Don't help him, don't help him!

I'm really starting to wonder about this aggressive, bloodthirsty Muslim shit we are fed!

When half of them are stoned?


Of course, the NYT would rather shovel this shit story than cover the war, and here's why:

"As Afghan And Foreign Troops Fought The Insurgents Around Gulistan This Week, The Rebels Did Not Flee"

"As Afghan and foreign troops fought the insurgents around Gulistan this week, the rebels did not flee. Instead, they gained more ground and captured the neighbouring district of Bakwa.

Canadian forces in Kandahar said it was one of the most organised Taliban offensives they had seen."

But, but, but... we're winning!!!!