*originally published to our email newsletter on 11/27/2021*
After the Taliban walked through the multi-Trillion dollar US-built “govenment” of Afghanistan, and took over power before the US military had even withdrawn, one of their first acts was to announce a crackdown on the illicit drug trade – specifically poppies and cannabis.
Anyone who had been paying attention over the course of this generation-long war might have raised an eyebrow at this pronouncement since the Taliban’s insurgency against US invaders was largely funded by their own participation in such trade.
Not only that, but as one of the poorest nations in the world, farmers rely on these crops to support their families. Fortunately, Ghulam Ali, the owner of an 8-acre cannabis farm outside of Kandahar has said that so far nothing has changed for him and farmers like him.
Here’s to hoping it stays that way.
In a bizarre twist to this story, Taliban Press Director Qari Saeed Khosty tweeted earlier this week that they had inked a $450M deal with Australian pharmaceutical company cPharm to set up a cannabis processing center in Afghanistan.
A quick look into this company would indicate that the announcement might not be entirely accurate. It is a regional family business in Australia with only 17 employees. It has no dealings internationally. It is not a manufacturing company. It has nothing to do with cannabis. And there is no way that it would have access to $450M to invest in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately for them, they have been inundated with probing phone calls, and even fear repercussions over potential violations of US-led international sanctions.
Regardless of all this, the same fact that was true 20 years ago remains true today – nothing that happens in Afghanistan is America’s business. In this weekend of reflection, we are thankful that this war has finally been ended.
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