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Afghanistan's Biofuel Revolution

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Seeing the news that President Obama is sending more troops into Afghanistan, our gaze turns from Iraq to the place where the Taliban has made a resurgence and where Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden have been hiding out near the border of Pakistan. Fueling this terrorist incubator has been the explosive growth of the poppy trade, the main source of funding for the Taliban and pretty much every terrorist organization in the area. So instead of just fighting this war militarily- which results in countless deaths and billions of dollars spent- couldn't we take a preemptive tactic to remove the Talibans main source of funding by buying up all of the poppy crops in Afghanistan (which produces more than 90% of the world's opium supply)? Pay above market value and do it under the stipulation that every hectare of land be replanted with biofuels that would thrive in that climate/condition. And guarantee both help with the agriculture- state of the art equipment, the latest knowledge and high-yield seeds to grow- and with moving the finished product straight into the biofuel production chain at a fair or above market price. Give them the incentive to sell their current crops to us, give them the tools and knowledge to grow replacement crops- biofuels and food- and then guarantee them a fair (or more than fair) market price at the end. Start them on a cycle of energy independence while ending both the illegal drug trade and the main source of funding for terrorist networks. It is hugely less expensive than waging a military war and it encourages diplomacy and economic prosperity while undermining the root financing of terrorism. And there is even one piece of that puzzle already in place, though it is not seen through the right prism. And that is cannabis/hemp.

Besides poppies, which are used to make ****** and opium, the other huge Afghani crop is cannabis, which is grown for hash production and is considered part of the "war on drugs" and the "war on terrorism" because it is seen as fueling both. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that some 70,000 hectares of cannabis were grown in Afghanistan in 2007, up from 50,000 in 2006 and 30,000 in 2005. Afghanistan appears to be overtaking the world's top cannabis grower, Morocco, where the multi-billion dollar cannabis harvest halved from 2003 to 2006. However, cannabis/hemp is a known and tested biofuel that could be harnessed as the solution to the problem instead of viewing it AS the problem. It is drought-resistant, pest-resistant, environmentally friendly and much more productive and cost-effective than current biofuel crops such as corn, which requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel it produces. An acre of hemp can produce ten times the methanol that an acre of corn can, and can do it faster with less fertilizer. Plus, the crops are already planted and thriving! Check out this bit of information from The Independent, dated today (Feb. 19th):

The UN's International Narcotics Control Board said in its annual report that due to overproduction of opium there has been a rise in the production of cannabis in Afghanistan. Many provinces which had been declared by the Afghan government and Nato to be free of poppy cultivation have switched to cannabis. The report stated: "The lack of security in Afghanistan has severely hampered government efforts to eradicate illicit opium poppy; a total of 78 persons involved in the eradication efforts lost their lives in 2008, a six-fold increase over the previous year. The increase in illicit cultivation of cannabis in Afghanistan is also a worrying development."

Instead of a "worrying development," we could be praising Afghanistan for increasing their biofuel crops. Add to that uses for fiber, food and medicine and you have a truly valuable crop with which to wean Afghanistan off of poppies, oil and terrorism. All it takes is a change in how we see hemp/cannabis and it's many uses, which of course includes reviewing its illegal recreational stature. There is no doubt that the prohibition of cannabis (and industrial hemp) has had more negative effects on society than the actual usage of the drug. Under it's current state of illegality, we have a multi-billion dollar untaxed cash crop, a black market shadow economy, the associated crime and violence inherent with prohibition, plus a prison system overwhelmed and overloaded with simple possession cases so there aren't enough resources for violent criminals and terrorists. With simple decriminalization, plus rigorous scientific testing to maximize it's usage, industrialized cannabis/hemp could actually bring on the end of the war in Afghanistan, defund the War on Terrorism and easily halve the "War on Drugs" that we've waged on drug users in this country, freeing up billions of dollars and countless resources to apply to real threats or redirect into our crumbling economy- all while freeing us from our own addiction to foreign oil. If we hew to scientific data and end the empty rhetoric and political posturing that keeps cannabis/hemp from being scientifically tested or utilized, we can move forward with a biofuel revolution just waiting to happen. It's a win-win for US taxpayers, for our strategic goals abroad and for the planet and all its residents.

NewsHawk: User: https://www.420magazine.com/
Source: huffingtonpost.com
Author: Robbie Gennet
Copyright: 2010 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc
Contact: Contact us
Website: Robbie Gennet: Afghanistan's Biofuel Revolution


New Member
A great logical solution that is also the problem.

Anything logical will not be given consideration because of the simple fact that logic and involvement of politicians do not exist.

Perhaps we will see the day when this will occur.
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