Who's the Medieval Barbarian? Taliban Marijuana Policy vs. US Marijuana Policy 12/7/01

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

There are not too many nice things that can be said about the Taliban, the fundamentalist rulers of Afghanistan for the last five years. Their human rights record is atrocious, their choice of friends has proven disastrous, their treatment of women was right out of the 7th Century, they banned music and the destroyed priceless historical monuments out of spite. DRCNet has condemned the Taliban in this newsletter repeatedly since they first showed up in the drug war radarscope during the UN Drug Summit back in 1998. But when it comes to marijuana policy, the Taliban could learn a lesson or two in medieval fundamentalism from the US government and many US states.

According to a review of the Taliban penal code by New York Times reporter Amy Waldman, Article 6 of the penal code specifies the following penalty for pot-growing: "A person who cultivates marijuana will be jailed until his family members get rid of the plant."

Such punishment may sound draconian to enlightened societies, but it is positively benign compared with the United States. Under federal law, growing one plant can net you 15 to 21 months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. For more than one hundred plants, you're looking at a five-year mandatory minimum sentence and up to 40 years maximum.

While the states' treatment of marijuana growers varies, almost all of them require jail or prison sentences. A few examples: In Wisconsin, growing fewer than 10 plants can result in a three-year prison sentence. In West Virginia, any cultivation can result in up to 15 years in prison; in Washington state, five years. A marijuana grower would have faced fewer sanctions in Kandahar than in Kansas City (5 to 15 years for any amount), less trouble in Mazar-e-Sharif than Memphis (1 to 5 years for growing more than a half ounce), and fewer headaches in Tora Bora than Tulsa (2 years to life for any amount).

Criminal sanctions are one thing. Marijuana growers in the US can also anticipate no-knock raids by masked, heavily armed men, the seizure of all their money and property, thousands of dollars in legal expenses, and a lengthy regimen of drug testing. Oh, yeah, and they won't be able to get student loans, either.

The Taliban may be brutal, thuggish, backward-looking, fundamentalist fanatics, but when it comes to marijuana policy, they've got nothing on the US.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #214, 12/7/01 Editorial: Sometimes People Learn, Sometimes They Don't | Walters Confirmed as Drug Czar, Coalition Challenged But Couldn't Block Crusty Nominee | Bolivia Coca Crisis Explodes, Government Forces Reportedly Assassinate Union Leader | Hemp Taste-Test Demonstrations Target DEA Offices Across the Country, Protests Held in 76 Cities | South Dakota Farmers Union Unanimously Endorses Industrial Hemp Initiative | Drug War Peace Remains Elusive, Say Panelists at San Francisco Forum | Who's the Medieval Barbarian? Taliban Marijuana Policy vs. US Marijuana Policy | Catholic Church Calls on World Governments to Reject Drug Legalization, But Says Repression Cannot Be Sole Response | Michigan Marijuana Petition Drive Falls Short Again as Organizers Vow Third Effort, Detroit Init Will Head to Polls | Zogby Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose US Marijuana Policies | Alerts: HEA Drug Provision, Sembler Nomination, DEA Hemp Ban, Ecstasy Bill, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]