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Smokey Confessions From The Combat Zone

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
KANDAHAR- Embedded with Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Star columnist Rosie DiManno reflects on the sights, sounds and bad smells encountered in cramped armoured vehicles and along Panjwaii district's swoon-inducing trails

In the back of a Bison now, headed for a forward operating base in the middle of the night, and the only two passengers are journalists.

The crew commander hops down to rattle off the same standing instructions he'd give if there were other soldiers inside. "If I'm wounded, you will pull me down and perform first aid. If I'm killed ...."

He points to grenades stored in one seat – we're sitting on grenades? – and extra ammo in another. See guns. Grasp guns. Shoot guns.

Oh, and if we have to blow up the Bison – never let a combat vehicle fall into enemy hands – there will be a 60-second warning, then the release of toxic fumes.

The reporter thinks: I could be covering the playoffs.

Fortunately, at the first stop outside the wire, a sergeant hops on board. He's a gregarious Newfoundlander and immediately embarks on a story about the dope-smoking Afghan National Police.

Now, the ANP are notoriously fond of their hashish, particularly when they're stuck at rural checkpoints, where either nothing happens or they're suddenly Taliban fodder. So, yes, drugs are commonly consumed and those in the vicinity will find their nostrils frequently assaulted by the scent of wafting hash smoke.

"Other night, the ANP invite me into their tent, eh?" recalls the sergeant. "And they've got this Afghan whisky, must have been 90 per cent proof, tasted like diesel. But I have a couple of snorts because I don't want to be rude, eh?

"Then, the guy brings out a brick of hash. And I'm like, uh, no thanks, really. A little booze is one thing, but hash – I'm pretty sure that's a major Canadian military no-no."

Hashish fumes, sometimes so thick a passing reporter can almost get a contact-high, are at least preferable to some other smells in this part of the world.

The desert is clean. The village compounds – not so much.

Yet no village smells as bad as Kandahar Airfield, especially when the wind changes direction and comes across the base sanitation plant known as Emerald Lake.

The reporter madly spritzes Chanel No. 19 around her hooch, to no avail. Nothing cuts through the miasma of Eau de KAF.




News Hawk- User 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Toronto Star
Author: Rosie DiManno
Contact: TheStar.com - Opinion - Columnists
Copyright: 2007 Toronto Star
Website: TheStar.com - News - Confessions from the combat zone
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
It always makes me sad when I read about Afghanistan in the grip of war. Years ago, Afghanistan used to be part of the hippy trail from Australia to England. It was a mysterious place, steeped in history. The bazaar in Kabul, the jewels of Kandahar, the Khyber pass. Gosh, I remember reading Rudyard Kipling and stories of traders using the Khyber Pass. I'm reminded of that every day as I look at the 80 year old carpet my father brought back from Afghanistan over 35 years ago.
What a tragedy that all we hear of about Afghanistan these days is the war, and the Talibanfucks.
 
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