Hashish production thrives in Hezbollah-controlled land

An agricultural worker inspects his crops of cannabis in a field in the Bekaa Valley, in eastern Lebanon September 25, 2007.

An agricultural worker inspects his crops of cannabis in a field in the Bekaa Valley, in eastern Lebanon September 25, 2007.

Hezbollah is controlling the majority of Marijuana plantations across Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and the government is unable to do much about it, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday.

While it is not uncommon to find marijuana plantations in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, production has reportedly surged during the conflict in Syria, where Hezbollah is fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“Local politicians know about it, police know about it, the Lebanese army is aware of it and so are authorities in Beirut. But nobody wants to, or can, fix the problem. The majority of these plantations are controlled by Hezbollah,” the Daily Beast report said.

Prior to the war in Syria, the Lebanese army had reportedly raided land used for growing the plant. But over the past two three years, the army became more focused on border security.

“The police and the army can’t stop me even if they wanted to,” a marijuana farmer from Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold, said.

“It is no secret to say that these networks [of hashish producers] are very well armed in order to protect their marijuana fields,” Ohannes Geukjan, professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, told the Daily Beast.

“There are some areas in the Bekaa Valley and Hermel where the government and the army have been unable to penetrate.”

Drug traffickers are reportedly using ports controlled by Hezbollah and the lawlessness in Syria to smuggle Lebanon’s cannabis, which according to the report has reached Jordan.

 
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