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Finally our policy of slashing and burning the Opium crops the Afghani farmers grew to survive is coming to a end. At the same time the DEA, ATF, Sheriffs, and anyone else that can roundup a Helicopter is starting their yearly assault of American pot growers. U.S. Announces New Afghan Drug Policy

TRIESTE, Italy (AP) -- The U.S. has announced a new drug policy for opium-rich Afghanistan, saying it was phasing out funding for eradication efforts and using the money for drug interdiction and alternate crop programs instead.

The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press on Saturday that eradication programs weren't working and were only driving farmers into the hands of the Taliban.
"Eradication is a waste of money," Holbrooke said

The logic is that if we give the farmers something they can make a decent living growing something other than Opium then we can change their society. Opium is the only way to make a living, feed their families, and just plain survive. The same could be said for thousands of guerrilla growers across the US. There are no jobs out there to be had that pay a decent wage. Just as in the times of Prohibition when jobs and money was still in short supply people grow marijuana for many reasons, not all of them altruistic. Back then we had the big time criminal bootleggers but we also had thousands and thousands bathtub beer brewers, corn licker stills, and smugglers on all coasts. The same can be said for modern day growers. Some grow  to make the big bucks, while others grow because they can make enough to pay the rent, feed the family and have a little left over.

This summer the amount of Grows being found this early in the season should be a new record. That will mean hundreds if not thousands of more Americans going to prison for what in Afghanistan our Government is paying the farmer to stop. Currently with unemployment in Ca. reaching record highs for recent times more and more people will be trying to get by anyway they can just like the Afghani Farmer. Our envoy to Afghanistan Holbrooke should send this info back to the Pres. and Eric Holder as it applies worldwide.

Holbrooke said the previous U.S. policy, which focused on eradication programs, hadn't reduced ''by one dollar'' the amount of money the Taliban earned off opium cultivation and production.

The same can easily be said for US Marijuana production. The only thing eradication and prohibition does is increase the price and put more people in prison. Just this week in one bust of a grow they found over 20,000 plants. At the same time some local Sheriff busted one poor guy for having 2 plants.
Depending where theses growers live and how good their attys are they could do anywhere from 100yrs in prison to just a fine and maybe probation. That does not sound like equal treatment between 2 American growers or a Afghani grower and a American.
At least 13 States now have Medical Marijuana Laws allowing for both use and growing and more are being added this year. The laws are all over the place on the details. Some States allow dispensarys, some allow personal grows, the grow limits vary from a couple plants up to many, and there is even going to be State Grown and distributed Marijuana. It no longer makes sense to spend Billions on eradication here in the US just to fill our prisons. There is no possible way to stop the growing of marijuana in the US anymore. It would be a even harder task than we face in Afghanistan and makes even less sense. Our new Drug Czar has promised to end the War on Drugs, he should start by stopping the waste of money on Grows anywhere but our National Forests.

Originally posted to SmileySam on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 04:19 AM PDT.

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