Hemp, Opium and Afghanistan
by Hempy, Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 07:04:45 AM EDT
"A new report (PDF) by the Senlis Council, a U.K. think tank, finds that counter-narcotics policies in Afghanistan over the last five years have facilitated insurgency, laying the groundwork for the Taliban to return to power."Afghanistan Five Years Later: The Return of the Taliban Spring/Summer 2006 (AFYL). AFYL
The report continues:
"Without alternative means of livelihood, farmers are unable to give up growing poppy."
This is happening in Columbia regarding their coca crop. Critics of Columbia's President Alvaro Uribe said,
"The government has not provided enough training and employment programs for the demobilized fighters."COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RRELATIONS
I don't suppose it has ever occurred to these report writers to offer legalizing hemp as a viable alternative to produce jobs.
For Afghan farmers another document compared the value of wheat to opium. It said:
"Opium offers landowners higher returns than any other traditional crop - for example, the average gross income from a hectare of poppy was 27 times that from a hectare of wheat in 2003, and a dozen times higher than from a hectare of wheat in 2004."PDF
Hemp would be more competitive with opium. Not only can hemp produce a wide variety of highly nutritious foods, there are over 50,000 products that can be made from hemp.
Hemp is also a good source of alternative, environmentally friendly fuels that can replace the world's dependence on fossil fuels.
The hemp plant produces a cannabinoid, designated by the letters THC, that when heated and ingested lifts the human spirit. It also has many medicinal uses.
THC is not a drug, is not a narcotic and is not addictive. "There are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death."THC
THC when heated and ingested can help break addiction to narcotics such as heroin and cocaine as well as nicotine and alcohol.
If nations legalized hemp, THC's lifting of the human spirit would substantially undercut the market for illicit narcotics. That would drive down the value of illicit opium and cocaine.
Then the value of hemp would likely exceed the value of opium. So if an Afghan farmer can make more money growing hemp than opium it seems reasonable that the farmer would choose hemp.
The AFYL report said:
"Misguided and badly formulated drug policy has accelerated and compounded all of Afghanistan's problems...."AFYL
This is referring to the War on Drugs being waged by the United Nations and the United State's failed War on Drugs.
"The largest source of terrorists' income is the illicit drug trade."
COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RRELATIONS
To put the United Nations in perspective, it's not a representative body. It is a debating society for governments to vent their disdain and dislike of other nations. As Mark Twain said:
"All nations look down upon all other nations.
"All nations dislike all other nations.
"All white nations despise all colored nations, of whatever hue, and oppress them when they can."
Both the US and Britain's War on Drugs is aided and abetted by the United Nations. The UN is intent on oppressing Afghan and Columbian farmers as well as farmers in any country that tries to grow hemp. The UN could care less about farmers.
For example, Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said,
"A new high-security prison block would be inaugurated in a few weeks... "We have room for 100 people and I am asking the government to fill it within six months..."NYTIMES
Doesn't that make you feel more secure if the Afghan government locks up 100 farmers because the UN wants them to?
A June 1, 1998 public letter was sent to Mr. Kofi Annan Secretary General United Nations signed by 632 people from nations around the world. It stated in part:
"In many parts of the world, ...human rights are violated, environmental assaults perpetrated and prisons inundated with hundreds of thousands of drug law violators."
The letter asked Kofi Annan
"to initiate a truly open and honest dialogue regarding the future of global drug control policies - one in which fear, prejudice and punitive prohibitions yield to common sense, science, public health and human rights."
That June 1, 1998 letter is still probably sitting on the bottom of Kofi Annan's In basket, never having been read and certainly none of its requests acted upon. It's clear that the UN wants nothing to do with an open and honest dialogue regarding global drug control policies.
The world's nations need to legalize all things hemp to give farmers an alternative means of livelihood that can compete with narcotics crops.
The UN and nations of the world need to revise their drug policies so they reflect the values expressed by Thomas Jefferson:
"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." --Thomas Jefferson to Maryland Republicans, 1809. ME 16:359THOMAS JEFFERSON