Lebanese Hashish


Lebanese Hashish

Lebanon produces one of the best “illegal” hashish across Europe and the Middle East, with that being said “how”, “why” and “where” is all this coming from ?

Welcome to “Bekaa Valley” and “Baalbeck” (East of Lebanon) the locations for the most important Cannabis Fields. The fields are cultivated on very large scales, many of them using modern machinery. The fields do not only grow cannabis but all other kinds of fruits and vegetables as well. The production is very industrially oriented, tradition is not very involved in the Hash-Business. Lebanese is the third most common kind of Hash in Europe (after Morocco and Afghani). Unfortunately most of the Lebanese which was sold was quite old and dry, fresh and resinous Lebanese was sold less due to some battling that was going on between the farmers and the government.

Lebanon first launched a large-scale effort to destroy cannabis fields in 1992, shortly after the end of the civil war. The war itself was a boon for the country’s illicit drug trade, as farmers, often working with militias, grew and exported massive amounts of hashish. The crackdown on hashish cultivation that followed the conflict was accompanied by efforts to find alternative crops for local farmers, but they largely failed.

The cannabis fields remain, and farmers are still picking up automatic weapons and RPGs to defend their crops, clashing with police and the Lebanese Army, disrupting the eradication operation. They have declared a state of alert and scrutinize the movement of security forces and monitor visitors and tourists.

“We will fight them to the death if we have to because this is how we make a living. We don’t want to live humiliated,” as one of the cannabis farmers said.
“Before they destroy the crops, they need to provide us with health and security. They have to subsidize our agriculture and rid us of the middlemen and merchants who make their money on our backs, under the watchful eyes of the state and its backing,” he urges.

To conclude all of this :

  • Lebanon has a climate which makes cannabis growing easier and more efficient
  • Cannabis growing and making hashish is illegal in Lebanon.
  • The Government, Police and Lebanese Army are not able to eliminate the crops.
  • Lebanese Hashish is still produced and sold across Lebanon and other countries.
  • Farmers and Lebanese people are benefitting.

 

Reference:

http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/11126

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0807/Farmers-government-battle-over-hashish-in-Lebanon-s-Bekaa-Valley

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4 thoughts on “Lebanese Hashish

  1. I wonder if Hezbollah has any interests in the marijuana growing business. The crippling economic sanctions against Iran may be disrupting the flow of funds from Iran to Hezbollah. This thought is discussed in the following article, http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/12/16/Iran-cuts-Hezbollah-funds-Israel-says/UPI-18921292513073/. Additionally, the escalating conflict in Syria would also inhibit the flow of money from Iran to Hezbollah. Possibly, Hezbollah’s next choice will be to turn to marijuana to supplement its lost funding. If this scenario happens, the marijuana problem could become a lot worse.

  2. Interesting article Karim. The use of medical marijuana is a highly publicized debate in the U.S. right now with 17 states that have already legalized medical marijuana and 6 states pending legislation.
    However, the impact of growing marijuana in Lebanon does have many differences than the case in the US. As you noted, the farmers that industrially produce cannabis rely on the income as their means of survival. It seems from your article that the government is not addressing the issue that forces the farmers to turn to illegal crops. Instead, they are working against the farmers when they should be working with them to pave a more long-term and sustainable development for the agricultural sector of Lebanon’s economy.

  3. If Lebanese people and farmers are benefiting from the growth of cannabis then why would the government want to eliminate cannabis fields? Hmmm… this issue is similar to what is going on in the U.S. among state owned dispensaries and the Federal government. Because Federal law automatically cancels out state laws many federal officials have raided or shut down dispensaries/ suppliers in states where medicinal marijuana is available. But why one may ask? In my opinion: taxes. More specifically the lack there of, the government cannot regulate the sales of cannabis…

  4. As most have commented on already, the United States is going through a similar debate, many states have decided to legalize marijuana for medical reasons, but it seems that more of the debate in Lebanon is about the sale of marijuana, not the use. The fact that the hashish sales in Lebanon are on the black market is what is making it the problem. In the U.S. I feel that more of the debate is about the use of marijuana and the health effects marajuana has, rather than from an economi standpoint like in Lebanon. I understand this because it seems that many families rely on this money to survive. I do not see a problem with the sale of hashish as long as it is benefiting the local economy and for the right reasons. These farmers depend on this income to survive, and for the government to cut that off would be cruel. The only problem I have is that young children are out working on the fields all day. This is more of an issue of child labor than the production of hashish. The fact that a young girl was out in the hot sun working all day, in order to help support her family seems to be more of an issue for me.

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