The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


December 27, 2006

Name: Tadpole
Posting date: 12/27/06   
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url: armysailor.comFramed_tadpole_pot_and_afn_soldier_dsc01

Afghanistan is well known for its poppy. I once read somewhere that it was responsible for something like 75% of the world's opium supply. I don't know how accurate that figure is, but assuming it is even remotely accurate, it's an impressive figure. What Afghanistan is not so well known for is its marijuana. It's my understanding that Afghanistan was a very popular tourist spot back in the 70s. I've been told it was especially popular with hippies, because it was a place that was inexpensive to visit (aside from the initial expense of getting here), and because drugs were plentiful and cheap.Framed_tadpole_pot_field_dsc01088_1

Because we are talking about hippies, I am forced to assume that this must have included some good ol' weed too. However, after the Soviets, then the Mujahadeen, and then the Taliban, I guess I kind of assumed that any trace of such activity (other than the poppies used to fund the Taliban) had long since disappeared. I mean after all, there is no major sign of alcohol in this country (it's here, it's just hidden), so I assumed that weed would be the same. Boy, was I surprised.

It's not too often that you come over a hill and see fields full of weed. Just growing, like we'd grow corn or wheat back home. There were clearly man-made irrigation ditches, and other signs that this was definitely a farm. The pictures say it all...


Glad you weren't the dog, too. Hope you get some help sleeping. God knows there's plenty to keep you awake. Falling dreams. I have those too. And being shot at. And I live in peaceful Virginia. I think some dreams are just universal. Take care.

I am going to quote Raymond's dad from Everyone loves Raymond, who just recently passed away, "Holy crap!" ...

Yep, Tadpole, there was a lot of weed there back in the '70s. The trip wasn't that expensive if you took the overland bus from Istanbul to Kabul.

Still get piss tested in Afghanistan?

Haha! I ran a small clinic for locals out of my firebase there a couple years ago. It was in the middle of three pot fields. I called it Mary Jane Clinic and had the name painted in Dari on the side of the clinic. While painting, my interpreter paused, looked at me and said, "Mary Jane, this is a woman's name. Why do you name it a woman's name?" "Well", I replied with a smile, "she was close to me a long time ago." Stay safe, or something like it.

happy new year year willbe better.

Looks more like a once cultivated field, gone feral. Moisture's too inconsistent for an active crop.

I read a National Geographic from within the last few months that put the figure even higher than your guess--Afghanistan is responsible for about 90% of the world's opium! Scary. Since farmers make more selling that than food agriculture, we've got some serious work to do.

They say war is hell... looks like a little piece of heaven dropped in too! Are their watchdogs as good as the "farmers" in tennessee? Be careful!!

The largest cash crop in my county in New York is Mary Jane. I think it's the largest cash crop in the state of either Oregon or Washington, too. All that money isn't taxed either. Does that make our local drug growers warlords? And, where does all of that money go? If the opium trade corrupts the Afghan govt, what about our govt? Just a question.

hello congratulation you did a great post

I am forced to assume that this must have included some good ol' weed too. However, after the Soviets, then the Mujahadeen, and then the Taliban,
John B. Barnhart

hey that a hell of a page i love this blog

Afghanistan is old country with their own rules, nobody change them.

it looks like once irrigated land, now feral. shows the real picture of Afghanistan. good work!

Weed can provide for some people some kind of relaxation after a hard week of work, many use it for fun, those are call "everyday smokers". I don't see no wrong on people smoking weed, as long they behave and don't begin to do stupid things.

a European import, which is the king of weeds, with underground rhizomes that can extend 20 feet and seeds that can are viable for as much as 50 years...

Im inspired with the exceptional and instructive contents that you provide in such short timing.

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