In March, the United Nations said that Afghanistan had become the world's top cannabis supplier, and that the crops help fund the insurgency, according to Reuters:
One of the main reasons cannabis is so widely grown, UNODC said, is because of its low labor costs and high returns. Three times cheaper to cultivate than opium, the net income from a hectare of cannabis is $3,341 compared to $2,005 for opium.
"The entire process is a non-expensive, fast industrial process, which is indeed somewhat worrying," Jean-Luc Lemahieu, head of UNODC in Afghanistan, told reporters in Kabul.
"We have already enough problems with the opium so we don't want to see the cannabis taking over."
Ironically, this soldier's Canadian homeland has also attracted attention from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, as a world leader in per capita marijuana consumption. According to a June, 2009 article from the CBC:
In its 2007 report, the UN found that Canada led the industrialized world in marijuana use, at least when calculated as a percentage of population.
In its 2009 report, Canada is cited as the leading supplier of ecstasy in North America as well as a major producer and shipper of methamphetamine for markets around the world. The report cites the growing influence of gangs — Asian gangs on the West Coast and outlaw motorcycle gangs in central Canada.
The report says the Canadian-based trade in methamphetamine has grown so much since 2003 that by 2007, 83 per cent of all methamphetamine seized in Australia came from Canada. In Japan, the figure was 62 per cent.