U.N. Brands Cambodia Top World Source of Marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Jun 7, 2001.

  1. By Reuters
    Source: New York Times

    The United Nations has branded Cambodia one of the largest suppliers of marijuana to the world, with business estimated to generate nearly $1 billion a year.
    The value of the export of marijuana is estimated to be on par with that of Cambodia's top foreign exchange earner, the garment industry, which employs more than 100,000 people, the U.N. International Drug Control Program said in a report.

    ``With Cambodia as one of the world's largest suppliers of cannabis, and in combination with the destabilizing effects the illicit profits of this trade has on the country, this situation is clearly not acceptable,'' said the report, obtained by Reuters late on Wednesday.

    ``If this phenomenon is not halted, it will have serious economic and social implications.''

    The report said more than 200 tons of high-grade Cambodian marijuana had been seized abroad since 1996, primarily in Europe but also in the United States, Australia and Africa.

    Significant quantities of heroin and methamphetamines from the Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand and chemicals used to produce narcotics are also being shipped through Cambodia, the report said.

    The UNDCP said Cambodian law enforcement officials were involved in the drug trade.

    ``Military police could play an important role in dealing with drug production and trafficking. Many observers, however, feel that the military forces are presently more a part of the drug trafficking problem than its solution,'' the UNDCP said.

    Graham Shaw, UNDCP's Cambodia program officer, told Reuters on Thursday that the United Nations had committed $3.5 million to assist Cambodia in its fight against drugs.

    However, he described Cambodia as a ``weak link'' in regional anti-drug efforts and said that reform would be ``a long and difficult road.''

    The report, distributed to the government and the country's aid donors last week, is expected to be discussed at a meeting of aid donors in Tokyo from June 11-13.

    Cambodia is expected to ask for more than $500 million at the annual meeting, but donor pledges are tightly linked to reform in areas such as law enforcement and tackling drugs.

    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    Source: New York Times (NY)
    Published: June 7, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 The New York Times Company
    Contact: letters@nytimes.com
    Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
    Forum: http://forums.nytimes.com/comment/
     

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