Taliban “Bans” Cannabis Cultivation

The Emir of the Taliban, Haibatullah Akhundzada, has released a decree completely banning the cultivation of cannabis in Afghanistan, stating that violators will have their crops destroyed and be punished under Sharia law. In April, 2022, Akhundzada also banned the cultivation of opium to curb production of narcotics in the country, as well as banning any drug use. Similar to their rule in 2000, the Taliban has been facing increasing pressure from the international community to curb the production of narcotics in an attempt to appear as a more legitimate power.

Enforcement, however, is said to be extremely limited by the Taliban as opium cultivation has expanded since the takeover of the country in 2021. The production and trade of drugs such as opium, heroin, and meth has been a multi-billion dollar industry that has become a stable source of work and income for hundreds of thousands of Afghans, an industry that is likely to stay as Afghanistan faces continued economic turmoil.