The Solution To Afghanistan's Opium? 

The Solution To Afghanistan's Opium? 
Posted by CN Staff on November 16, 2004 at 11:13:36 PT
By Marc Deeley, Development Worker, Spirit Aid 
Source: BBC News UK
Earlier this year the head of the United Nations drugs control agency said efforts to tackle Afghanistan's growing drugs trade were failing. The UK-based development agency Spirit Aid offers a radical solution to the problem. During the 1990s, five or six provinces in Afghanistan were cultivating opium poppy. Since the fall of the Taleban, that number has increased to 28 out of 32 regions. That is a major factor in worsening violence this year as people struggle to survive and fight for control of this illegal, socially damaging but lucrative resource.
Afghan farmers produce opium that is sold for some $2.3bn, according to United Nations estimates. Its value is vastly inflated beyond that by the time it reaches its western consumers. Despite this, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest places on Earth. Collectively the farmers receive less than half a per cent of the wealth generated by their illegal crops. Much of the revenue ends up with local militias. Environmentally Friendly The organisation I work for, Spirit Aid, has developed a plan to replace Afghan opium - 75% of the global supply - with industrial hemp. " Industrial hemp is perhaps the only economically and environmentally viable alternative to opium cultivation in Afghanistan "Hemp is a fast growing, legal cash crop that presents a host of immediate benefits to Afghan society, including a potentially lucrative source of foreign exchange earnings. Hemp can be used to produce heating and cooking fuel, thereby ending the need for people to cut down and burn their remaining forests during severe winters. Using hemp in this way would also help prepare areas of land for future tree planting projects. It is part of the same family as cannabis, and the leaves of the two are indistinguishable. But there are other benefits to cultivating hemp.  Renewable EnergyAt the moment many Afghan children are malnourished. Hemp produces a fruit boasting the nutritional qualities of soya, oily fish and wheat combined. Hemp can produce quantities of wood equivalent to four times that of trees over a similar period of time. This biomass can be used in the production of clean, renewable energy, biodegradable plastics and building composites. Hemp is currently being grown for these purposes in 36 countries around the world, including Canada and some European Union countries. If hemp could be successfully introduced in Afghanistan we believe that: * Those who depend on the 90,000 hectares of land dedicated to opium poppies in Afghanistan would instead be able to cultivate industrial hemp to provide heating, shelter, food and would have an alternative source of revenue. * Communities in the West would no longer be flooded with cheap heroin in this supply-driven industry. * The world would become a cleaner, healthier and more secure place as the need to cut down old growth forests and burn the remaining oil, coal and gas reserves is reduced.  Unique OpportunityIndustrial hemp is perhaps the only economically and environmentally viable alternative to opium cultivation in Afghanistan. It presents an opportunity to satisfy the immediate fuel, fibre and monetary requirements of two million farming households struggling to survive in one of the most dangerous countries on earth. Hemp cultivation also presents a unique opportunity for environmental improvement in Afghanistan. Crucially the international community has a moral obligation to prevent a Colombian-style "war on drugs" from taking hold in Afghanistan because if this happens we can be certain the violence, and supply of opium, will never end. What do you think of Marc Deeley's argument? Could industrial hemp tempt Afghan farmers away from the lucrative cultivation of opium? Would it work? Tell us your thoughts. Newshawk: Potpal Source: BBC News (UK Web) Author: Marc Deeley, Development Worker, Spirit Aid Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2004Copyright: 2004 BBC Contact: newsonline Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Hemp Links Plant Returns To Afghanistan Turn To Old Friend: Opium Cannabis News -- Hemp Archives
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on November 17, 2004 at 14:53:25 PT
I did know that information but I didn't know it was called anything. I saw it in a movie but I can't remember which one. I believe it was The Emperor of Hemp by Jack Herer.
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Comment #29 posted by Druid on November 17, 2004 at 14:40:15 PT
FoM-The Elkhorn Manifesto
The Elkhorn Manifesto is just not about War It's about why Cannabis is illegal today and why our government refuses to talk about it.WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST, the newspaper and magazine tycoon.   The expected rebirth of cannabis hemp as a less expensive source of pulp for paper meant his millions of acres of prime timberland, and investment in wood pulp papermaking equipment, would soon be worth much less. In the 1920s, about the same time as the equipment was developed to economically mass-produce raw hemp into pulp and fiber for paper, he began the "Reefer Madness" hoax in his newspaper and magazine publications.ANDREW MELLON, founder of the Gulf Oil Corporation.He knew that cannabis hemp was an alternative industrial raw material for the production of thousands of products, including fuel and plastics, which, if allowed to compete in the free-market, would threaten the future profits of the oil companies. As Secretary of the Treasury he created the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and appointed his own future nephew-in-law, Harry Anslinger, as director. Anslinger would later use the sensational, and totally fabricated, articles published by Hearst, to push the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 through Congress, which successfully destroyed the rebirth of the cannabis hemp industry.   A prominent member of one Congressional subcommittee who voted in favor of this bill was Joseph Guffey of Pennsylvania, an oil tycoon and former business partner of Andrew Mellon in the Spindletop oil fields in Texas.THE DU PONT CHEMICAL CORPORATION,which owned the patents on synthetic petrochemicals and industrial processes that promised billions of dollars in future profits from the sale of wood pulp paper, lead additives for gasoline, synthetic fibers and plastics, if hemp could be suppressed. At the time, du Pont family influence in both government and the private sector was unmatched, according to historians and journalists.
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on November 17, 2004 at 08:48:08 PT
You asked: FoM, are you ready to don a birqua and relinquish your human rights to Islamic law? I doubt it.No I am not. Years ago when I was doing a horse show circuit and we traveled up into northern Ohio I saw my first Mosque. I thought how in the heck did a Mosque get built here in this country. I had never seen anything but Churches and Synagogues. Muslims investments now are a big part of our economy. Michael Moore showed that in his movie. I remember saying well since we are the melting pot of the world or so we are called we no longer can call ourselves just a christian nation. I'll never forget that day.
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Comment #27 posted by goneposthole on November 17, 2004 at 07:12:30 PT
unfortunately, it is too late
We have a government that has made a lot of mistakes. Ronald Reagan had the foresight and forethought to remove the military presence in Lebanon back in 1981. He was hated by the neocons for withdrawing the Marines right after they were massacred.Donald Regan resigned in disgust because of people like Paul Wolfowitz of Arabia, Rick Perle and other neocons of their ilk. If only he could have stayed and fought off their fantasies and influences. Now, Islam and the theocracy it wants to impose on the entire world is raising holy hell with the infidels. Not good. We're feeling the bite.FoM, are you ready to don a birqua and relinquish your human rights to Islamic law? I doubt it.Theo Van Gogh darn got his head cut off by a radical Islamist who was ready to die for jihad. Van Gogh's crime: he exposed the abuse of women by the male-dominated Muslim society in his film "Submission". Two knives protruding from his chest in a ritual killing was his reward from radical imams for producing the film. A real tolerant theocratic society, wouldn't you say? The Dutch aren't happy about it. They will take action and already have. Some 20 incidents against mosques have taken place in The Netherlands. Unfortunately, there might be a civil war brewing in Holland, of all places. Check out this blog: You will gain some insight on how the Dutch feel about Muslims living in their country and how they felt about Theo Van Gogh. They've had enough. Open your eyes. Radical Islamists are imposing their religious beliefs worldwide. There have been riots in China.Unfortunately, war is what it will be... for many years to come... whether we want it or not.I hate it and don't want it, but it's here. It is a reality we must face.John Kerry is relieved he doesn't really have to be the President with a plate full of war at his diplomatic table. That's George Bush's job. At the end of his reign, he will have had enough, too. That is the way I see it today.The opium addicted camel has had his back broken by a straw. That is how opium is transported in Afghanistan. Opium growers get a camel hooked on opium and use the camel to transport opium from one location to another. The camel jockeys the opium back and forth to get his fix at the end of the line. Back and forth, high on opium, the camel does his job and nobody rides along. Hard to find out who is in the business that way.That is how surreptitious this has all become.
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Comment #26 posted by afterburner on November 17, 2004 at 04:58:07 PT
The High Frontier or the Low Prison World, Choose!
"an increase in the population would result, negating all the benefits."Looks like it's time to re-imagine Gerard O'Neill's alternate solution: space habitats. 
The High Frontier by Gerard K. O'Neill
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Comment #25 posted by kaptinemo on November 17, 2004 at 04:15:06 PT:
With regards to the economics of war
For the hopelessly curious, I'd recommend a slim little volume titled "The Report from Iron Mountain" by Leonard Lewin. Although Lewin swears he was satirizing a 'think tank' report, the fact remains that he predicted what would happen to the war-based US economy when the Soviets folded. Namely, it would go into a tail-spin until it found another 'enemy' to fight. Which is exactly what happened.Lewin also goes into why it would be pointless to re-direct the energies of the economy into more peaceable ventures, like universal health care, housing, etc., for precisely the reasons given in these comments: an increase in the population would result, negating all the benefits. Something would be needed to 'siphon' off the 'surplus' (and just who gets to determine who's 'surplus'?). Something like - you guessed it! - WAR.It's also interesting that Lewin off-handedly predicted the rise of 'reality' TV shows like "Survivor" as being attempts to keep the masses from being too introspective as to their deteriorating economic and social situations. Not bad for somebody writing way back in 1967, huh?
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Comment #24 posted by breeze on November 17, 2004 at 00:48:57 PT
Re-count, opium, war, draft, martial law
This is almost like deja vu. Others than myself have been ranting about this for seemingly years.
And its almost here.I was taught by my rotc instructors in high school that war is good for the economy- build machines of death, and give people jobs. Those machines frequently get destroyed or break apart, so - more machines need to be built.Ever notice that anything built in this nation has a tendency to fall apart quickly- that nothing lasts- because retailers don't sell quality product- the people don't demand it in numbers required to make a difference. Unfortunately, the countries where we import most of the junk we buy is catching on. When I was a kid, ma and pa had a coffee pot that lasted 15 years, before the heating element went out. I have gone through 15 coffee makers in the last 10 years. This is just one example. In the last 10 years, I have bought 3 microwaves- THREE!!!!
And I buy the name brand crap in hopes I don't have to buy another one.Thank GOD I know how to fix some electronic stuff- but the coffee pots and microwaves and etc. just fall apart- literally- nothing to do with the electronic end- just cheap plastic.Clothes- another article entirely. 
Maybe thats why the clothing people don't want to legalize hemp- because clothes would last for years instead of a few wash cycles. I read an article just today that commented on the economy, and how inflation is performing- everything is going up- and the writer seemed ecstatic about it. Now THAT is the media for ya...
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on November 16, 2004 at 21:07:25 PT
Thank you. I haven't read it but I have heard about it. Nothing surprises me when it comes to wars.
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Comment #22 posted by Siege on November 16, 2004 at 19:28:48 PT
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Comment #21 posted by Siege on November 16, 2004 at 19:27:07 PT
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Comment #20 posted by The GCW on November 16, 2004 at 19:09:27 PT
Void in the main stream media!
No newspaper media report confirming Ohio getting a recount.*Either this is one sided from Truthout... and it did not happen; *Or the lack of other media mentioning this may lead to people thinking it did not happen...*Or, tomorrow, it will break out.Is this true or not?Kerry, a fellow bonesman, gave in early and may not want the job. (Didn't His wife get cancer?)Has Kerry been guaranteed not to win before He joined this illusion? Is He interested in a recount? I don't hear Him.This all reeks.A Ohio recount could reveal plenty.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on November 16, 2004 at 18:36:06 PT
We are preparing for rough times. I think it's smart to look at where we are and where we might be headed. 
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Comment #18 posted by mayan on November 16, 2004 at 18:20:06 PT
Isn't it amazing how the mainstream media is avoiding this? We may not be able to change the results but we can at least expose the fact that our voting process is completely rigged!It seems that the powers that be are gearing up for the inevitable military draft. They must move quickly as word is spreading about 9/11 and the rigged election. All the rats are jumping off Bush's ship because they know the horror that awaits this country and they refuse to go along with it. I hope everyone has been preparing for martial law. I pray we don't see it but all of the pieces are now in place.Government looking at military draft lists: teens getting driver's license also register for selective service: Child Left Unrecruited? A provision of the No Child Left Behind Act requires high schools to give military recruiters previously confidential student information:
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Comment #17 posted by The GCW on November 16, 2004 at 17:44:10 PT
Ohio recount... a couple more. Common Dreams.696969The Ohio Recount is Going Forward!
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Comment #16 posted by Sukoi on November 16, 2004 at 16:53:00 PT
Short but good:
FREEDOM WATCHEnd the war on drugs 
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Comment #15 posted by Druid on November 16, 2004 at 16:44:02 PT
Sam Adams
Thanks for bringing up the Elkhorn Manifesto. I first learned of it from Virgil on this site I believe it was back when he was p4me...could have been someone else though. Stoner memory ya know?Good Call thoughEveryone should read
The Elkhorn Manifesto
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Comment #14 posted by siege on November 16, 2004 at 16:39:49 PT
IT will be like the [[coca crop]] plants that live right ON after the herbicide's get them 
Afghanistan's Opium Poppy and cannabis will be doing it real soon allso:: 
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Comment #13 posted by drfistusa on November 16, 2004 at 16:29:05 PT
corrected link! Afghans Scythians
Most of the Afghans are decendents of the Cannabis using Scythiens who accepted and spread Hemp use and Buddhism to the west. Later wiped out by invading armies and forced covertion to Islam in much of central Asia and later forced convertions to Roman Christianity, witch and shamen burning, pagans converted, and of course banning "the Devils Sacrement" hence the Buddhist use of cannabis to aid meditation and health is still persecuted by the Neo Roman civilization. 
Western Buddhism = Scythien Buddhism
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Comment #12 posted by siege on November 16, 2004 at 16:16:36 PT
NO vote for Prz. Dr. Fist he's talking about runing: he's hell on pot here in Tn. I get some real bad letters from Him. and the others 6 donkeys. 
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on November 16, 2004 at 16:11:57 PT
war profiteering
FOM, have you ever read the Elkhorn Manifesto? Do a Google search on it. It details how the Bush family and others profitted did business with the Nazis after Pearl Harbor. I believe Prescott Bush was making big bucks from "banking" (laundering German money). Supposedly this was the big reason he moved the family from NY down to Texas - word got out & spoiled their reputation in NY.Alcoa Aluminum was still refusing to sell aluminum to the US as part of a collusion deal w/ a German corporation, even after Pearl harbor.It's interesting, there's almost no one left for us to conquer. Iraq isn't a real enemy, they barely even had a military.No, today America is conquering the people the future. With our gluttony & consumerism we're burning up the fuel, fouling the air & land, & ruining the global climate & ecosystem. We're even spending their tax money. 
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Comment #10 posted by drfistusa on November 16, 2004 at 16:07:26 PT
Yes Governments need wars
Agriculture allowed governments to spring up and governments organized wars for the surplus 20 something population that were not needed in the ever more relentless agriculture.
There have been charts done that show this correlation between excess 20 's and wars outbreaks, every generation gets a war or two. 14,000 wars so far in recorded history. The good news is that this cycle will be over soon maybe 2012, a new age?
In the meanwhile we can help relieve our own and others suffering but understanding the causes and solutions for suffereing as Buddha ,Jesus and other visitors have taught.
Cannabis Hanf aids this understanding and reduces suffering.
western Buddhism still underground
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Comment #9 posted by goneposthole on November 16, 2004 at 16:03:51 PT
It won't work
As long as there is a demand for heroin, it will be supplied. Mexico is a big producer, too. Mexico grows some 4 800 hectares of opium. If Afghanistan decreases their production, some other place will increase theirs.It is the law of supply and demand. Where there is demand, there will be a supply.There are millions of people worldwide who use opium. Russia alone has a million heroin users. I suppose it could be eradicated with a good heavy dose of some herbicide like they do the coca crop down in Colombia.As long as there are people willing to use heroin, there will be a supply of heroin. A wild-eyed prohibitionist would believe it would work.Hemp replacing the heroin crop in Afghanistan is pure folly. It is just an opportunity for Colombia to increase their production of opium.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 16, 2004 at 15:33:48 PT
War Is Big Business
Wars do good things for capitalism. This is only a feeling I have and I could be wrong but here goes. We don't want peace. We have too many young men that don't have a job because we've outsourced everything. Young men get married and have more children. War gives poor men a job and decreases the surplus population. We at CNews could end war but the powers that be want it to keep going.
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Comment #7 posted by b4daylight on November 16, 2004 at 15:25:46 PT
You ever look at the Foreign Policy and wonder.
I do.
We do not let tourists go to Cuba nor any money.
Yet we sell and give 120,000,000,000.00 dollars each year to China. Pakistan was our enemy dictator with Nuclear weapons, now we are allies on terror. Is that an oxymoron? We attack Iraq, and Leave North Korea to do what ever it wants. We have troops in South America fighting the Drug War. We give 3 billion dollars much in defense to Israel, but provide only a couple hundred million to Palestine. We have CIA agents, and who knows what else invading privacy. Yet we tell the world we come in peace. Somehow we need the biggest tank to tell them. We need to kill them, and make them peaceful. We are a joke to the world.
The "Now Society"
Relax and enjoy life. 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 16, 2004 at 15:05:28 PT
I Feel Sorry For The People in Afghanistan
If they can't find a crop that can make the money of the poppy they will just bomb them somemore. That seems to be the answer for everything these days.
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on November 16, 2004 at 14:59:46 PT:
What Dr. Fist said
This would be like trying to 'teach Granma how to suck eggs'. Most botanists credit that part of the world for having developed cannabis in its' present myriad forms. They know all about (pre) industrial hemp.And they'd NEVER let the non-THC form get very close to the most common breadwinner after opium - their own hash producing cannabis.Nice try, guys, but the sad truth is so long as the Big O is illegal, there'll always be Afghan farmers growing it. Just like Way Down South in America del Sud with the cocaleros. And the smarter of the antis know it...
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Comment #4 posted by drfistusa on November 16, 2004 at 13:53:07 PT
Afgani Hash is HEMP/HANF
They have been growing cannabis hemp in Afganistan since the place still had Buddhists, going back to the Sythiens, you need rope to handle horses and livestock and nylon had not been invented yet. So they act like this is a new idea!!
It takes large and fuel consuming equiptment to grow industrial hemp, and harvest it economically. Opium you need a small knife. Who will pay for the Hemp equiptment!!
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Comment #3 posted by Shishaldin on November 16, 2004 at 13:20:51 PT
Allow Afghanis to be self-sustaining?
Gotta go with Sam Adams regarding his prediction that opium growing will be THE crop for the forseeable future, but there is one other reason that comes to mind: our very own Government!Ever wonder why, when we have all those troops over there, supposedly to control the warlords and keep our War on Drugs going strong, that opium growing EXPLODED (and continues to grow) after we got rid of the Taliban? It's not exactly a coincidence. Think the CIA got out of drug dealing after the '80's? Think again:, do you think that the CIA would want farmers growing something that would benefit the farmers WITHOUT drug money laundering going through Wall Street and the Banks? Didn't think so. I wish Spirit Aid all the best in their quest. They'll need it.I'd love to see hemp do what nature intended it to do: Feed, Clothe, House, and Enlighten us all...Peace and Strength,Shishaldin
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Comment #2 posted by sam adams on November 16, 2004 at 12:55:48 PT
My prediction
You know what? Opium will be grown in abundance in Afghanistan from now until it is legalized. I would bet anyone any amount of money they have on this. Anyone is not retarded could figure this one out.  It's a huge, primitive country. What kind of a dumb-ass farmer would grow hemp or cotton or wheat when they can grow a crop with a profit margin 100 times greater? People in the West can't understand that Afghanistan is a primitive country, things are under "control" there, they don't have a massive, overfunded government oppressing them.Even if a few farmers do get caught, what will they do to them? They can't afford to build jails over there. They can't even afford shoes!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 16, 2004 at 12:20:57 PT
ASA Invitation
ASA: Mark your Calendar! Celebrate the Homecoming of Medical Marijuana POW's   
Assemblymember Mark Leno, Angel Raich, Valerie & Mike Corral, Judy Appel, Marsha Rosenbaum, Dale Gieringer, Jeff Jones, Mike Gray, Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad, & Todd McCormick cordially invite you to:Celebrate the Homecoming of Medical Marijuana POW's Bryan Epis & Keith AldenA holiday benefit for Americans for Safe AccessFriday Dec. 3, 2004 7pm-Midnight
Pier 23 Cafe in San Francisco
(At Pier 23, on the Embarcadero)Featuring the French folk funk dance band, Dginn
Open bar and fantastic food
$50 at the doorPatient-friendly spaceFor more information or to co-sponsor
call 510.486.8083
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