cannabisnews.com: Afghan Poppies To Get Herbicide Spray










††Afghan Poppies To Get Herbicide Spray

Posted by CN Staff on December 09, 2006 at 18:12:07 PT
By Jason Straziuso, Associated Press Writer†
Source: Associated Press†

Kabul, Afghanistan -- The top U.S. anti-drug official said Saturday that Afghan poppies will be sprayed with herbicide to combat an opium trade that produced a record heroin haul this year, a measure likely to anger farmers and scare Afghans unfamiliar with weed-killers.John Walters, the director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Afghanistan could turn into a narco-state unless "giant steps" are made toward eliminating poppy cultivation. "We cannot fail in this mission," he said.
"Proceeds from opium production feed the insurgency and burden Afghanistan's nascent political institutions with the scourge of corruption."Afghans are deeply opposed to spraying poppies. After nearly three decades of war, western science and assurances can do little to assuage their fears of chemicals being dropped from airplanes. Because of those fears - and because crop-dusters could be shot down by insurgents - spraying would need to be done on the ground.The Afghan government has not publicly said it will spray and President Hamid Karzai has said in the past herbicides pose too big a risk, contaminating water and killing the produce that grows alongside poppies.But Walters said Karzai and other officials have agreed to ground spraying."I think the president has said yes and I think some of the ministers have repeated yes," Walters said without specifying when spraying would start."The particulars of the application have not been decided yet but yes the goal is to carry out ground spraying."Gen. Khodaidad, Afghanistan's deputy minister for counter-narcotics, said the government hadn't made any decisions yet. But a top Afghan official close to Karzai said the issue is being looked at closely."We are thinking about it; we are looking into it. We're just trying to see how the procedure will go," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.Opium production in Afghanistan this year rose by 49 per cent to 6,078 tonnes - enough to make about 600 tonnes of heroin. That's more than 90 per cent of the world's supply and more than the world's addicts consume in a year.A U.S. official who asked not to be named said last month if Afghans don't spray in 2007 "there's going to be a lot of pressure on the government for spraying...a lot of pressure from the U.S."At the news conference Saturday, Walters tried to emphasize to the largely Afghan media members in attendance spraying is perfectly safe. He said the herbicide glyphosate - sold commercially in the United States under the name Roundup - would be used and it is a safe and common weed killer.He said the U.S. uses glyphosate to spray marijuana plants in Hawaii and it's also used against coca plants in Colombia."We are not experimenting on the people of Afghanistan," he said."We are not using a chemical that has a history of questionable effects on the environment."Walters said he doesn't expect the fight against poppies "to be a one-year success story."A recent UN report said it would take a generation - 20 years - to defeat the drug trade in Afghanistan.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Jason Straziuso, Associated Press WriterPublished:  December 9, 2006Copyright: 2006 Associated Press CannabisNews Poison Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/Poison.shtml

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Comment #28 posted by rchandar on December 10, 2006 at 18:37:35 PT:
whig
You're right. But the situation there is so screwed up that I'd say they're only best able to think in those screwed up terms instead of making things even more screwy. And I don't think we'll get to legalize any drugs in the region for some time: these are poor countries and the educated elites who form governments are embarrassed by what they see as against a "modern society".Not that they have ever been interested in modernizing society for real. That's just my sense: Asia has the most draconian drug laws in the world, and it isn't changing because there isn't an educated movement challenging the current political order: just terrorists who preach violence and desperate finitude. 
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on December 10, 2006 at 16:39:00 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
Excerpt:We're happy to report that Senator Biden has negotiated a significant change to the mycoherbicide section of the ONDCP bill.Another Excerpt:Senator Biden deserves praise for getting Rep. Souder and others to change the bill.http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/ns120720062.cfm
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Comment #26 posted by observer on December 10, 2006 at 14:55:42 PT
Karzai, Puppet
spraying would need to be done on the ground.It ain't gonna work. They will be targets, as happened in Colombia when spraying began. Notice how well spraying works in Colombia.The Afghan government has not publicly said it will spray and President Hamid Karzai has said in the past herbicides pose too big a risk, contaminating water and killing the produce that grows alongside poppies. But Walters said Karzai and other officials have agreed to ground spraying.Well, when you're a puppet, if your masters jerk you around, you move. It is automatic. 
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Comment #25 posted by whig on December 10, 2006 at 11:04:05 PT
freewillks
Cannabis doesn't grow as fast as yeast, but when you put them together.... How quickly does the peace shockwave travel?
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Comment #24 posted by goneposthole on December 10, 2006 at 10:45:29 PT
What will happen
Other poppy growing areas on the planet will have an increased acreage allotted for more poppy production.More heroin, not less, is what will be the result.The US gov. has prosecuted this drug war for umpteen years now. It's turned into the one they've got, not the drug war they want. It will never be the drug war they want. It will always be the drug war they've got.The War in Iraq is not the war the US wanted, but it's the one they've got.Not the wish. Not what they wanted, but they've got it anyway. Good for them.I wouldn't wish it on anybody else. They've got both, they can have both.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on December 10, 2006 at 08:54:42 PT
freewillks
I know that other countries are similar but we are really bad. 
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Comment #22 posted by kaptinemo on December 10, 2006 at 08:35:52 PT:
Now we're no better than the Soviets
The Soviets used chemical weapons in Afghanistan for the express purpose of killing the Muslim resistance. Of course, the vast majority of those actually killed were old men, women and children...as is usually the case in war. The use of this tactic led to some of the bitterest, bloodiest, no-quarter-asked-or-given fighting that has ever been seen in the annals of modern warfare. Russian prisoners were lucky if they were shot immediately, as the survivors of the various clans would often engage in torturing their captives in retaliation in a horribly brutal fashion. Often, the surviving members of the clan would volunteer for what amounted to suicide attacks: they'd have a man tied to the top of a tree armed with a Stinger SAM; he'd fire at the approaching Soviet Hind-class helicopter gunships as they entered his range. Arial spraying means only one thing to the survivors of that period: death. They will not be mollified that this is being done 'for their own good'. Anyone care to bet what will happen to US helicopters accompanying those Thrush Commander sprayplanes they'll have to use? Doesn't anybody learn from history? Anybody?
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Comment #21 posted by freewillks on December 10, 2006 at 08:35:18 PT
FoM
War is not exclusive to our government alone. 
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on December 10, 2006 at 08:09:37 PT
freewillks
Cannabis does help people reason and in turn it helps control anger. War will stop when our government stops wanting and just taking what isn't ours to have.
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Comment #19 posted by freewillks on December 10, 2006 at 07:51:34 PT
Cannabis: The new Biological weapon of peace!
Flood the streets of baghdad full of bongs and hookas loaded with some of the worlds finnest Bud. Make the Iraq congress eat hash butter brownie's before every session. How long would it take for the violence to stop in Iraq if all the insurgents could get up and "Wake and bake" the stress of the world away.My Christmas wish is "Peace on earth" 
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on December 10, 2006 at 07:42:07 PT
freewillks
I sure like your idea. I haven't seen Hash since the 70s but some of the best came from Afganistan.
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Comment #17 posted by freewillks on December 10, 2006 at 07:38:06 PT
Maybe they should grow cannabis?
Maybe we should let the Afgans grow and sell Cannabis. This would give them a sound economey thats biggest side effect would be to help the Afgans chill out...lol. maybe Bin Laden would smoke a big old fat spliff and say War is not the answer. Think about it.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 10, 2006 at 07:34:16 PT

rchandar 
I really do understand your comment. My hope is that the Drug Czar will lose his power under the Democrats. Democrats are closer to Greens just like Libertarians are closer to Republicans. I hope that someone will stand up and say stop poisoning the world. 
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Comment #15 posted by John Tyler on December 10, 2006 at 07:08:37 PT

doomed to fail
Their plan is not going to work, as we all know. It hasnít worked anywhere else so why should it work here. It will just make a lot of the local people angry or worse. The whole thing is economics. The Afghan farmers are growing a lot of poppies because it makes money. I donít think they have any particular love for the poppy plant itself. Itís all about the money. The Afghan gov. or the US gov. or somebody needs to come up with something that the farmers can grow that will make them as much money as poppies. If they canít or wonít this whole poppy eradication talk is a waste of time and effort.P.S. Afghan is also famous for it wonderful cannabis products which have been overwhelmed by poppies. If some people could get over the anti cannabis mentality fostered by you know who that could be an economically viable crop once more.

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Comment #14 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 10, 2006 at 05:46:27 PT

Above Us Only Sky
Imagine all the people living life in peace. A brotherhood of man.
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Comment #13 posted by Yoshi on December 10, 2006 at 00:20:06 PT

Just Walters talk
Unlikely to be put into action. Afghanistan is out of U.S control.
And the idea of poisioning the drug supply, that's health care American style
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Comment #12 posted by whig on December 09, 2006 at 23:39:51 PT

rchandar
I don't care to justify anything by Rumsfeld logic.
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Comment #11 posted by rchandar on December 09, 2006 at 22:39:45 PT:

FoM, others interested...
Oh, of course I don't mean that. But you know what I mean, it follows a pattern. You post this and we get some good consensus on why it's wrong. But in about two days the same article appears on CNN or BBC, and the rhetoric of presenting it is unanimously in favor of the USG. I guess that's good because you've given us a view of what's going to happen. But, tomorrow night, take a look at the night BBC article. It'll be unanimous, and they'll make the governments look like great heroes. What worries me most about this development is what's going to happen to South Asian junkies. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, for example, there is some tolerance of heroin use. If they go ahead with the spraying, a lot of people will die from poisoned heroin--I'd say probably a few thousand to 10,000 at least. These are bad junkies who'll do anything for their fix. It won't reach our market because poisoned drugs would ruin the Western market, turn a lot of people off. But the poor of the Subcontinent? They're not going to read this, nor will they have any knowledge of what's being done. Ignorance can do a lot of things.The other posts were good--the point about driving up the prices appears the most meaningful. I can't say I really can endorse opium, since it is addictive and damaging in the long run. What worries me is that, after viewing the network/standard news articles on Afghanistan, no effort and no money have been put in to reviving and modernizing a desperately poor hideout for terrorists. Spraying crops will do nothing to dampen terrorism in the ideal sense, it will send the Taliban right back into Pakistan, where they can do the most international damage. They will not only farm there--in the Kashmir region which cannot be touched because of India-Pakistan conflicts--they will increase in number and maybe try to overthrow the Pakistan gov't. That's seriously bad because Pakistan has the nuclear bomb.If Rumsfeld can justify Guantanamo, I think the same reasoning can justify keeping the status quo in Afghanistan. Because keeping Pervez Musharraf in power is probably the only way to ensure US-style stability in the region.--rchandar
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Comment #10 posted by whig on December 09, 2006 at 20:37:27 PT

Wayne
The Taliban destroyed opium poppies too. This would be more analogous to some crazed bioattack on California cannabis. For all intents and purposes, the Talibangelicals are all on the same side even while they talk smack about one another.
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Comment #9 posted by Wayne on December 09, 2006 at 20:26:00 PT

let's just call it what it is, people...
BIOLOGICAL WARFARE.If some country came marching into my homeland and started spraying my fields with chemicals without warning, I would consider that biological warfare. How about you? What would we do if some Iranian prop plane came flying over here and spraying cyanide on our pig farms because they didn't approve of pork? That's right, we would shoot first and stifle all questions later. Did Mr. Walters get permission from Congress first to declare this war on poppies, or does he just have complete carte blanche to do this sort of shit?And also, from what I understand, the opium poppy is a very sturdy plant. Something tells me that some everyday potion like Roundup probably won't do shit. It's a waste of time, and a complete and total farce, and people in our government and media should be calling them on it.And one other thing to consider...people in the Middle East are sick and tired of the USA meddling in their homeland. Are the planes that will be spraying this Roundup equipped with any sort of defense system? Because I will tell you this, I won't be a DAMN bit surprised if those Talibans holed up in the mountains shoot down one of those planes with a Stinger missile. Maybe the sight of some burning plane wreckage, with the letters D-E-A on it, on the 6:00 news might finally wake up some of the people in our government to the complete uselessness of this war. It's really sad, but unfortunately I think it will take the DEA's own people dying on national TV in order to shake things up.Don't get me wrong, people, I'm not a violent person at all and I don't condone any of this sort of stuff. But I am a realist, and I call things as I see them. And I would say at this point, as many years as we've been fighting this shit, the time for diplomatic behavior has long since passed us by.
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Comment #8 posted by whig on December 09, 2006 at 19:45:39 PT

mayan #5
Yes.
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Comment #7 posted by whig on December 09, 2006 at 19:44:29 PT

Herbicides
They are at war with God.
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on December 09, 2006 at 19:22:47 PT

Pizza Guy Spreads 9/11 Truth!
Letter to the Editor of the Ashland Times-Gazette, Ohio: 
http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/081206_inside_pizza.html 
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on December 09, 2006 at 19:08:38 PT

Unbelievable
A recent UN report said it would take a generation - 20 years - to defeat the drug trade in Afghanistan.Yeah, but we were also supposed to have a "drug-free" society here in the states by now! What a joke!!! Besides, assuming that we won't have had our asses kicked out of Afghanistan within twenty...or five years is being pretty optimistic...Afghanistan war nears 'tipping point':
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-insurgency9dec09,0,2649427.story?coll=la-home-headlinesWith the market flooded with opium and heroin, the U.S.  government must be worried about falling prices. If they spray then the price will go up and the government will make even more money. And with NATO troops now in Afghanistan the smuggling routes have likely branced out in all directions. If they know exactly where those opium plants are and will be able to spray them then why haven't they already burned them or chopped them down? It's because the U.S. government is the biggest illicit drug smuggler on the planet! It's not just about the oil.
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on December 09, 2006 at 19:07:18 PT

The Drug War Report is needed --Stop the Killing
This is such a stupid idea, it's ridiculous! First off, not much farmland in mountainous Afghanistan--spraying isn't going to help farming much, and it'll pollute beyond repair a fragile water supplyrt on rchandar.Please Sen Obama stand up if you want to lead------cuse the Dems like Biden are running for top dog also---show what is different about you and those that stand with you. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 09, 2006 at 19:05:25 PT

rchandar 
I hope you don't mean that you would stop reading CNews. I try not to post news that will really upset people or become to hard to take or show no real direction.The GCW they let the Poppies grow because I remember Rumsfeld said they can't stop them from trying to make a living to survive or something close to that years ago now after 9/11.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 09, 2006 at 18:35:46 PT

Observed:
It seems We have witnessed the US allowing and maybe even be responsible for the increased growth of poppy.Has the US allowed or enabled increased crops of poppy so an American company (government buddies) could sell herbicide? 
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Comment #1 posted by rchandar on December 09, 2006 at 18:27:15 PT:

oh, this is so outrageous!
Unbelievable. Not only do I have to stop reading this site, I have to stop watching television or reading the newspaper. That's the only way that such incredible horrors are not presented to me--and to you.This is such a stupid idea, it's ridiculous! First off, not much farmland in mountainous Afghanistan--spraying isn't going to help farming much, and it'll pollute beyond repair a fragile water supply. (They don't have any money, folks, they can't exactly treat the water and runoff the pesticides). People will die, especially if they're ignorant of the spraying, which is so likely because Afghanistan is extremely poor. The other thing is that drug dealers don't exactly care whether the crop is contaminated or not--they'll sell it, not to you in the West but to Afghans, Pakistanis and Indians who are poor junkies. They will, of course, die. And where was this "idea" a few years ago, when US forces had "stabilized" Afghanistan? Record crop this year; guess we'll only have to wait "one year" for the "scourge" of poppy production to be lifted from our streets. Man, I can't believe these people. Just can't believe it. And the US Government is so stupid. They DON'T WANT to solve the problem of heroin, they just want to look good for the cameras and the press! And WHY, exactly, has NO effort been made towards reviving Afghanistan's economy, by supporting free enterprise and industry? What a horrible statement by a backward and miserably immoral US government.
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