Newsbrief: Afghan Heroin Labs Reappear 8/16/02

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In yet one more indication that the Afghan opium trade is in the midst of a full-scale revival, the British newspaper The Observer reported this week that newly set-up labs in eastern Afghanistan are producing hundreds of kilograms of heroin per week. The newspaper reported that three labs operate openly in the hills southeast of Jalalabad, two more in the Acheen district and another in Nangahar province.

All three areas are under the control of Afghan warlords at least nominally allied with the US-backed government of Hamid Karzai, created to replace the outsed Taliban regime. The Taliban banned opium production in 2001, and production slumped last year out of fear of the Taliban's harsh style. Karzai reimposed the opium ban, but has been much less successful, managing to destroy perhaps 20% of the harvest.

But as shopkeeper Haji Daulut Mohammad explained to the Observer, economic imperatives increasingly leavened with anti-Americanism are ensuring that heroin production will increase in the near future. "Even if there is no cultivation of the poppy next year, the existing stock is sufficient for 12 months at least," said Mohammad. "It may be forbidden by Islam, but there is drought, unemployment, and no other way to make a living. The West says that making heroin is wrong and damages human beings, but they drop bombs on innocent civilians. We have no other way except to destroy the USA through narcotics. They shall drop bombs on us and we shall send them this gift."

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Issue #250, 8/16/02 A Message to Our Readers: 250 Issues of The Week Online | US Seeks Civil Injunction Against Lakota Hemp Grower, Supporters Celebrate Successful Harvest | DRCNet Interview: Jack Cole, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition | Initiatives Heat Up I: Tumultuous Week in Nevada, Cops Flip-Flop on Endorsement, Resort to Bald-Faced Lies | Initiatives Heat Up II: Storm Clouds over Ohio | Initiatives Heat Up III: Michigan Governor Flails and Fails in Anti-Initiative Move | Initiatives Heat Up IV: DC "Treatment Not Jail" Initiative Makes November Ballot, Excludes Marijuana, Heroin, Psychedelics | Initiatives Heat Up V: Arizona to Vote on Marijuana Decrim, Much More | Initiatives Heat Up VI: DC Board of Elections Rejected Thousands of Valid Signatures, MPP Challenging | Newsbrief: Afghan Heroin Labs Reappear | Newsbrief: Grateful Dead Reunion Just Like Old Days -- Many Arrested | Newsbrief: NJ Bans Devices That Defeat Drug Tests | Newsbrief: East Europe Teens Catching Up to West in Drug Use | Newsbrief: DARE Axed in Cincy -- Dayton Next? | Newsbrief: Canada Judge Rips DEA Law Violations | Newsbrief: NORML Not Allowed at Indiana State Fair | Newsbrief: Infected Needles, Alcoholism Lead to Increased Liver Damage, Deaths in England, Study Finds | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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