From the Independent:
Afghanistan, already the world’s top opium supplier, is now the world’s biggest producer of cannabis, according to United Nations drug experts.
There is large-scale cultivation of the drug in half of the country, resulting in 3,500 tons of hashish worth an estimated £61m annually, according to the first assessment of cannabis in Afghanistan by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It warns that the threat from the drug needs to be dealt with to deny the Taliban the millions they make in protection taxes paid by farmers and drug smugglers.
The focus on opium has resulted in cannabis being overlooked, according to Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of UNODC. “A concentration of cultivation in the southern part of Afghanistan shows that the Taliban and those insurgents that control the southern parts of the country are not only funding themselves by trafficking opium but also by trafficking cannabis. It’s the same area.”
[Read more at the Independent]