Perhaps the most divisive subject in many of the world’s cities is whether or not marijuana should be legalized, or at least the ineffective zero-tolerance policy most nations adopt be amended. With the trillions of dollars spent on the “War on Drugs”, drug abuse has only gone up, making it an epic failure. Countries where marijuana is decriminalized, such as the Netherlands, have among the lowest levels of drug abuse in the world, while the US with one of the most tough drug laws, leads the world in drug abuse. But a less-known and more recent successful example is Portugal, with its drug abuse levels dropping 50% in the 10 years after decriminalization. Canada is on track to legalize marijuana in the coming weeks as well, with public polls suggesting the approval rating of such a move are over 80% in liberal parts of the country, and a staggering 60% in more conservative parts.
As for Lebanon, I remember 5 years back, when one said “hashash” it was equated with vile things such as rapist and murderer (legally, it still is). Today, it is the butt of most jokes and the word is less-associated with negative connotations. We also hear of widespread use of marijuana in Lebanon, especially among the youth of the country. But, here this post is just to gather an approximate estimate of how many Lebanese youth actually do smoke Hashish. It is for a massive post I’m preparing about the history, present and probably future of Hashish in one of the world’s oldest and finest producer of Hashish.
- Lebanon has been growing cannabis for centuries, with notoriety for some of the best crop in the world (very high-quality Lebanese Red and Blonde Hashish)
- During the Lebanese Civil War, Lebanon produced 1,000 tonnes of Hashish resin every year, amounting to 500 million USD in profits for one of Lebanon’s most under-developed regions (the Bekaa)
- Hashish was legal in Lebanon before its prohibition in 1926
- 1000 square meters of Hashish yields 1,000USD for the farmer, while the same amount of wheat yields 50USD only
- Drug lords in Lebanon have enough wealth, firepower and influence over the government that the corresponding authorities don’t even bother to pursue them, only lower members of the cartels
- From 1991, every year, the Lebanese government goes on a mission to destroy cannabis fields in the Bekaa, which are widely seen as a failure after only 17 million USD of the UNDP’s estimated 300 million USD needed to develop the Bekaa enough to stop the cannabis industry were raised by 2001
- People convicted of abusing Hashish, get sent to jail, and many come out veteran heavy drug abusers seeing how they’re incarcerated with inmates convicted of much more serious crimes like rape, murder and heroin/cocaine addicts. Add to that the unimaginably corrupt correction system in Lebanon, and you get a massive crack house we call Roumieh Prison.
Anyway, this is just a very small part of much larger post on Hashish in Lebanon. I know many of you might feel uncomfortable talking about this, but I feel the elephant in the room should be addressed.
CAUTION: the poll is completely anonymous, chances of your vote being traced back to you is virtually 0, so don’t worry about being honest if you do smoke. And even if for some reason someone was specifically monitoring you at that precise time, it is inadmissible legally.
BUT, make sure your comments are anonymous as well (don’t sign in with Facebook/Wordpress/Twitter). Remember, Hashish is illegal in Lebanon and if you use it, and make that information available online, you could risk getting in trouble.
Check here for last week’s poll