Sunday, April 20, 2008

Marijuana, Star crop in the United States

18 ABN (Aurelio Gil Beroes).- Marijuana is the main cash crop at the United States, with a year production of 10 thousand tons and a worth over 35 billion dollars, a figure that exceeds the joint value of the corn and wheat production of that country, what turns it, perhaps, into the major world producer of that drug.

The plant is the main cultivation in 12 states of the union, one of the three which produce more money in 39 of them, is planted in 50 and its production has increased 10 times since 1981.

These incriminating details, revealed on a report written by marijuana reform activist Jon Getteman, president of the Drug Science Organization, a private organism set in California and available at the Internet, compare openly the prosecuting and slanderous attitude maintained against our countries and most recently against Venezuela, on behalf of the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) of the Bush administration, John P. Walters.

During this year 2008, at least in two opportunities, and as part of the smear campaign of its government against the Bolivarian Revolution, Walters has charged president Chávez and his administration of easing the drug trafficking in Venezuela.

His malicious rumor is that the Venezuelan government allow the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to use the national territory in order to traffic drugs.

On January 19^th , the official said in Bogotá, “Chávez is becoming the major facilitator of the cocaine transit to Europe due to his negligence to combat it,” and on April 11^th , in Brussels, he expressed that “Chávez allows the FARC to use the Venezuelan territory to send drugs to Europe.”

Triple target

This anti-drug office of the US government, which yearly “certifies” the countries that according to its opinion combat the drug trafficking and which has assumed the right to send Letter of Good Conducts due to that opinion, though it does not notice the problem on its own territory, it also works for the interests of its Government in other jobs, as in matters of propaganda and dirty war for instance, as in this case.

The mentioned statements of Mr. Walters follow three targets, a) to discredit president Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution; b) to discredit the FARC charging them of drug dealers in order to strip them of every political intention; and c) to project the idea that Chávez and the FARC are the same and abhorrent thing.

Breaking-off with the DEA

The aversion that the Bush administration and specially the Drug Czar became worse in 2005, when the Bolivarian Government broke off the agreements it had with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),the US lead agency for domestic and abroad enforcement of illegal drug trade.

According to the Venezuelan government, the DEA, in Caracas, devoted, among other issues, to spy the Government, while in matters of combating to the drug dealing it had a disputable efficiency. The former Venezuelan Minister of Interior and Justice, Pedro Carreño, came to charge it, on that moment, of being a new drug cartel, especially because of the course they followed on their “controlled deliveries.”

“We are not working directly with the DEA, because we determined that through this organization a great quantity of consignment of drugs went out of our country under the figure of controlled deliveries, about which we were never informed,” said Carreño to the press on March 1^st 2007.

Weeks after the breaking-off with the DEA, in 2005, the US government reiterated the information about the radars it used to survey the Venezuelan sky.

In 2003, president Chávez, in defense of the national sovereignty, prohibited the flight of US airplanes, with alleged function of drug control, on the Venezuelan air space.

Confiscations increased after breaking-off with the DEA

In accordance with the National Anti-drug Office (ONA, for Spanish), after breaking off agreements with the DEA, the confiscations of drug in general have increased.

An statistical graph at the web page of that organization (htto://, reports as follows. In the four years comprised between 2002 and 2004, last year of effective presence of the DEA in Venezuela, , were seized 140 thousand 769 kilograms in the country, while between 2005 and 2007, three years, the figure reached 195 thousand 687 kilograms; 39% more.

What the Drug 'Czar' silences

The US strategy to corner the scene, with help of its media, and dictate guidelines about what should or should not be done hinders the nations of the world of noticing what occurs in that country in matters as drugs.

In matters of narcotics, for instance, according to figures from the ONDCP itself, spread on September 25^th 2005 at the website , a total 19.1 million US citizens (7.9% of the population) consumed illegal drugs during 2004. “The numbers -reads the mentioned web site- were essentially the same as those obtained on the previous years (2003 and 2004), when around 8% of US citizens informed to have consumed illegal drugs during the last month.”

It is worth mentioning that in the same information, the ONDCP stresses that the national survey on Drug Consumption and Health of that year (2004) showed “that the illegal use of drugs dropped to least than 11.6% among the people of age comprised between 12 and 17 years old since 2002 to 2004.”

Marijuana production

An amazing information about the United States reality is that, perhaps, it is the world major marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) producer.

The above mentioned report of Dr. Getteman, made, according to his testimony, only with official figures, reveals that the marijuana, as we already said, is the major and more profitable cash crop in the United States, with a year production of 10 thousand tons per year, worth in more than 35 thousand 800 million dollars. It exceeds the commercial worth of corn and wheat, together, with a value per ton of 3 thousand 580 dollars.

That, despite corn is a crop that has received high incentives by the US program for the production of biofuel.

The report indicates that marijuana is the major cash drop in 12 states, one of the three crops which generate more money in 30 of them, one of the five primary in 30 states, and which is cultivated in 50. California state is the major producer, with a worth year crop of 13 thousand 800 million dollars.

In accordance with Getteman, the marijuana crop in the United States has increased 10 times since 1981. Thus, he states that the war against the plantations of this drug on his country is failing.

Glyphosate, recommended by not used

A relevant part of the controversies experienced during the recent years by Ecuador and Colombia due to the glyphosate spray, ordered by Bogotá to eliminate coca plantations at the shared borderline.

Glyphosate is a dangerous herbicide with carcinogenic characteristics and harmful effects, proved over legal crops, animal husbandry and human beings.

At the United States, its use faces so many restrictions that it is almost prohibited and can only be sprayed with the use of helicopters. In fact, the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit the use for the elimination of marijuana crops on their national parks, quite different to what US advisors recommend to Colombia, where they have done it at the border between Ecuador and Peru with airplanes and in quantities, perhaps, not properly regulated.

Dirty money

One of the more controversial aspects about the drug consumption at the United States (maybe the major world market) and about not even Jhon Walters nor any another authority talks about, is the concerning with the money coming from the business, “money laundering” by the US financial system.

The US sociologist James Petras published in October 2001 a report titled /The United States, empire financed with dirty money/, in which he says, “There is a consensus among US parliamentary researchers, former bankers and specialist international bankers that the US and European banks launder between 500 billion and a billion dollars in dirty money yearly. Half of that sum is laundered by US banks.”

Petras quotes words from the, at that moment, democrat senator for Michigan Carl Levin: Estimations indicate that among 500 billion and a billion dollars of criminal origin move and are deposited in banks yearly. It is estimated that half of that money come to the United States.”

He indicates that “in the whole decade (the nineties) between 2,5 and 3 billion dollars of criminal origins have been laundered by US banks and move at the US financial circuits.”

Petras says that the “dirty money” covers a great part of the US trade deficit, by that time located in 300 billion dollars, and he formulate a conclusion: “Without the 'dirty money', the balance of payments of the US economy would be completely unsustainable; the levels of life would fall; the dollar would weaken; investment and availability of capital for loans would reduce; and Washington would not be able to sustain its global empire.”

What has the arrogant 'Drug Czar' have to say about these problems linked to the drug business on his own country

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