Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Farmers Drive Out Eradicators 1/3/03

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Reuters reported Sunday that the Afghan government's opium eradication effort in Nangahar province has been halted by gunfire. Citing local authorities, Reuters reported that opium growing tribesmen in the province's Shinwar, Khogyanhia, and Achin districts open fired on government anti-drug enforcers, forcing them to retreat.

The tribesmen vowed to resist any future eradication efforts with armed force, according to local leader Noor Rahman. "The tribesmen used loudspeakers to call on people to come out of their houses to resist the plan," he told Reuters. "Government troops have been forced to leave the area."

Nangahar province is responsible for about one-third of Afghan opium production, according to the United Nations. The UN forecasts that Afghanistan is on track to regain the crown of world's leading opium producer this year, with a harvest estimated at 3,400 tons.

The government of Hamid Karzai ordered a ban on opium cultivation in January and promised farmers $350 for each acre of poppies destroyed. But many farmers complained that they have not seen the compensation, and thus are flouting the ban. In fighting over opium eradication in Helmand province in the spring, several dozen opium growers were killed by government troops.

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Issue #270, 1/3/03 Editorial: Constitutional Inconveniences | Pressure for Change Mounts as Ontario Judge Rules Canadian Marijuana Possession Law Invalid 270/californiabudget Budget Crisis Forces California Governor to Consider Early Releases, Other Prison Measures | Prosecutors Enlist in Drug Czar's Anti-Marijuana Campaign -- Will Prioritize Marijuana Cases, Lobby Against Reform | Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: Connecticut Legislator to Reintroduce Medical Marijuana Bill | Newsbrief: Prosecutors Seize Bail Money, Claim Pot Smell -- A New Tactic? | Newsbrief: Louisiana Drug Raid Draws Protests | Newsbrief: France Looking to Heighten Marijuana Penalties | Newsbrief: NJ Weedman to Get Day in Federal Court After Months in Jail for Thought Crime | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Farmers Drive Out Eradicators | Newsbrief: Ethiopian Farmers Turn to Khat in Face of Drought, Low Coffee Prices | DC Job Opportunities at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar

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