Lebanon: Greener grass

Villages in the Bekaa valley cling to cannabis cultivation as their only means of survival
Caravan (India)
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cannabis cultivation in Lebanon, which dates back centuries, became organised during French rule in the early 20th century, but it was in the lawless years of the Lebanese Civil War, between 1975 and 1990, that production really took off. After the end of the war, in 1990, the Lebanese government, the international community and Syria — then in de facto control of Lebanon’s politics — negotiated a complete annihilation of Lebanon’s cannabis fields. International aid programs were introduced to replace the plants with crops like beets or sunflowers. Initially, the campaign was successful at eradicating illegal crops, but as international donor money supporting crop replacement fell short of expectations, fields were soon awash with the tall, green plants again.