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Ferre
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:35 am    Post subject: West Africa's Cash Crop Reply with quote

G. Pascal Zachary wrote:
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 19:50:01 -0800
From: "D. Paul Stanford" <stanford@crrh.org>
Subject: 001 Ghana: West Africa's Cash Crop


By G. Pascal Zachary
January 4, 2004

What if a poor African country could grow a plant that would fetch healthy
prices in the U.S? What if the plant could be grown on small farms,
encouraging democracy in this poor African country by putting cash into the
hands of its poorest and most powerless people? What if such a plant could
reduce the poor African country's dependence on the U.S. for aid?

Of course, the U.S. would cheer such a plant and the country that grows it.
And President George Bush would be especially glad, since improving living
standards in Africa is one of his key global objectives.

Such a plant does exist, and an African country is growing it in good
measure. Yet President Bush isn't cheering. Worse, the Bush administration
is fighting a war against the plant and the poor African country that grows
it.

The country is Ghana, in West Africa, and the plant is cannabis or "ganja,"
the term preferred by Ghanaians. Marijuana grown in Ghana is of good
quality, plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Twenty neatly rolled sticks
of pot, or about half an ounce, sell for about $3.

That's right, good pot sells for $6 an ounce in Ghana. Here is the highest
stage of capitalism - the free market - in action.

Ghana is one of the most peaceful countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The
country rarely sees any violence (a benefit of pot-smoking?), has a
democratically elected government and boasts one of the freest societies in
Africa. Pot has been grown and smoked in the country for decades, drawing
little comment. In Accra, the coastal capital of Ghana, people smoke
discreetly, to be sure, because the sale and possession of pot is
technically illegal. But pot is easy to purchase, arrests are rare, and
smoking is popular, especially among American and European aid workers in
the country.

For pot smokers, Accra is an African paradise. But like many a paradise in
Africa, Accra is threatened by a man-made disaster. The disaster, funded by
American tax dollars, is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

I am no expert in the world's drug wars, or the DEA, but I spent the better
part of the past two years in Ghana and I never saw any signs of pot
ripping apart the fabric of Ghanaian life. There are no drug lords in
Accra, no gun-toting bodyguards or pot addicts strewn across the city's
derelict roads.

Just the opposite is occurring, actually. Pot is giving a people starved
for economic opportunity a chance to participate in the global economy.
Ghana is one of the losers in the world's experiment with widening trade.
Goods flood into Ghana from China, Brazil, Mexico, even the U.S. And not
just manufactured products either. Butter is imported from France, pasta
and canned tomatoes from Italy, rolled oats from Germany and rice from the
U.S. Because the cost of producing and shipping these foods is subsidized
by European, U.S. and Canadian governments, their cost in Ghana is
sometimes less than it is in the country of origin. And even if it isn't,
these imports ruin the lives of African food producers. American rice,
imported into Ghana, sells for substantially less than rice grown in Ghana.

The burden of food imports would be less crushing if Ghana exported an
equal amount of goods, but the country doesn't. It hardly exports anything.
The country's two leading exports are cacao beans (the basic ingredient in
cocoa and chocolate) and gold. These exports are the foundation of Ghana's
economy - today and 100 years ago.

Ghana has low farm costs, making it an attractive place (in theory) to grow
fruits and vegetables. But because of deplorable "feeder" roads to Ghana's
cities and ports, roughly one-third to one-half of the country's crop of
delicious pineapples rots before reaching market. Nearly as many of Ghana's
plentiful bananas suffer the same fate.

Marijuana has a longer shelf life. For poor Ghana, it offers a lifeline to
a more diverse and durable economic future.

To achieve this does not require a revolution in world drug laws either.
European countries have eased their restrictions on marijuana, creating a
chance for African growers to tap the huge market in cities such as
Amsterdam, Stockholm and Copenhagen. After all, West Africa is a short hop
by sea or plane to Western Europe, giving Africans an edge over producers
elsewhere in the world.

Simply, then, by sticking to the gray area of the world's fuzzy pot laws,
Ghana could reap substantial benefits. Instead, the U.S. insists that Ghana
buy American rice and yet refuses to allow its citizens to purchase Ghana's
marijuana. Whatever the arrangement is, it is not free trade.

To add to the injury, the Bush administration wants to fuel a drug war in
Ghana, where pot exporters are so sophisticated and nefarious that their
preferred method of transporting weed is to hide it in shipments of yams
bound for Europe.

Against this menace stands the DEA. About six months ago, the agency
privately persuaded the government of Ghana to accept its advice and mount
a campaign of resistance against pot production and distribution. The DEA
offered the carrot of "technical assistance" - jargon in foreign-aid speak
for equipment and cash that African police, who are woefully underpaid,
long for.

For now the DEA-inspired move against Ghana's pot growers has resulted in
publicized destruction of fields, some arrests - and more aid for Ghana
from a grateful U.S. government.

G. Pascal Zachary served in 2003 as Ghana director for Journalists for
Human Rights, a media training group based in Toronto.

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17483



I wonder why the US has to screw it up for eveyone on this planet all the time. Evil or Very Mad
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Lilli
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because the United States is the beast depicted in the book of revelations.
How will the beast mark those who follow him, and what is the mark of God set upon those who follow Christ? Let us begin with the mark of the beast, then look at how we are to receive God's mark which protects us from destruction in these end times.

Throughout the Scriptures, the word beast refers to a system, and not to a man. The beast is a system that rules the world; it's an antichrist system. Daniel 7 speaks of beasts and identifies them as earthly kingdoms. So the beast in Revelation is a beastly system that's ruling the world (it's a dictator beast). This beast is not just one human being, rather it is a system that has infiltrated every area whether it be politics, medicine, art or science; the beastly system is everywhere. This system is typically overseen by a powerful government with those in power making decisions that perpetrate the worldly system throughout mankind. When Revelation 13:1 speaks of the beast rising up out of the sea, what is meant by the sea? The Scriptures speak of the sea as "masses of humanity." This beastly system is rising up out of humanity, out of all the people on the earth. When John, the author of Revelation, stood upon the sand of the sea, he was standing upon that which could not be numbered, among all the people of the earth.

~Lilli~
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Rev. Chazman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the children dieing of hunger in africa, and other poor countrys, could be eliminated by hemp seed. Growing hemp could generate money to keep familys together. Im so sad right now I dont know what to say or do. Crying or Very sad

Peace
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Urbanhog
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting article..... actually when I read the title I actually thought it was going to be about "Knat/Qat" a leave thats chewed, for its engery producing properties. Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

The USA government is really going too far..... its sad. Crying or Very sad
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