By Carey Wedler – Activist Post
In recent years, calls to end the global war on drugs, particularly against cannabis, have grown louder — and show no signs of stopping. As evidence continues to mount showing the decriminalization of cannabis can have profound benefits, however, one potential side effect of ending the costly battle against the plant is only beginning to gain attention.
In recent years, governments and media outlets alike have highlighted the role drug trafficking plays in sustaining terrorist groups around the world. A brief report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime notes:
Indeed drug trafficking has provided funding for insurgency and those who use terrorist violence in various regions throughout the world, including in transit regions. In some cases, drugs have even been the currency used in the commission of terrorist attacks, as was the case in the Madrid bombings.
Similarly, as far back as 2003, the FBI observed the connection between terrorism and the drug trade. “Drug trafficking is a highly lucrative enterprise generating billions of dollars in profit that terrorist organizations can easily tap into,” said then-assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Intelligence, Steven McCraw, in a testimony before the Senate judiciary committee. “That is why all aspects of the terrorist enterprise including funding and support must be attacked.”
Of course, neither of these governmental observations considered decriminalizing cannabis, let alone all drugs. As a recent Reuters report details, however, cannabis plays a direct role in the way ISIS obtains its funding. In an interview with Italian prosecutor Franco Roberti, the nation’s top anti-terrorism and anti-mafia attorney, he discussed the way illicit hashish empowers the Islamic State.
He contends, as Reuters summarized, that “the main smuggling route for North African hash – compressed cannabis resin – now runs from Casablanca, Morocco, through Algeria, Tunisia to Tobruk in eastern Libya. Along that route is the seaside city of Sirte, which now serves as a Mediterranean base for the most powerful Islamic State (IS) branch outside Syria and Iraq.”
Citing investigations not yet made public, Roberti said police have found “evidence that Italian organized crime, which has long controlled most of the country’s illegal drug supplies, and ‘suspected terrorists’ in North Africa are trafficking hash together.” Though Italy has not experienced a terror attack by Islamic militants, ISIS has threatened Rome and the Vatican, making Roberti’s concerns about drug prohibition all the more valid.(continued at source)