Jets bomb desert drug find

Seen here is 236.8 tons of hashish burning. Afghan commandoes found the dope buried in the desert. They called in British fighter jets to bomb the stash, thought to be the world's largest amount of illegal drugs ever found by authorities. An article about the bust in The Scotsman is punctuated with some stats on other massive drug finds of late:
 Web Upload Ts  Th1 11620085Raf 5 million
Ecstasy tablets seized in Melbourne in 2005 were claimed as the largest haul of street-ready tablets in the world, worth £120 million.

9 tons
of cannabis resin was seized by Vietnamese police last month in the largest drug haul in its history. Found in 400 cartons covered by jeans, en route from Pakistan to China, it was estimated to have a street value of £45 million.

of cocaine was seized by US Coast Guard officers who boarded a 330ft ship off the Pacific coast of Panama in 2007. It was the largest single sea-based seizure of cocaine by a US agency, with an estimated street value of £250 million.
Link (via Dose Nation)


  1. If drugs were legal over-the-counter, then a different group of armed gunmen wouldn’t compete with the primary group of armed gunmen (i.e. government) to allow people to buy the products that clearly there’s a market for.

    That said, when does the second season of Breaking Bad start?

  2. burning a mountain of hash is an accomplishment? All they have done is increase drug profits for the Taliban. The demand isn’t going away and the poor farmers still need to feed their children in a land wracked by oil-war.

  3. What’s funny is how those big hauls are hardly a dent in the international drug trade. The War on Drugs is just another racket of armed folks along with drugs themselves and their sellers.

  4. Oh please. Possibly the lamest, most credulous excuse for journalism I ever laid eyes on. Why would you go to the expense of using harriers to drop bombs when you could do the job cheaper, quicker and (sorry RAF) with a better chance of success with a jerry can of petrol and a box of matches? Did it not occur to them to ask why, if there was a photographer there, they had to use a stock photo of a Harrier? This is really the completest possible crap from start to finish.

  5. I’m too lazy to find the source, but the Economist magazine quoted a UN study not so long ago that put the monetary value of the world’s illegal drug trade at bigger than the global oil industry, employing around 20 million people and serving 70 to 100 million customers.

    Burning a few tons of hash is hardly likely to affect profits any more than capping some oil wells.

  6. My first thought: these large busts are a sign of poor inventory management. The international crime syndicates are clearly not hiring enough MBAs with knowledge of lean manufacturing.

  7. I like Takuan’s idea that having a large portion of your product destroyed increases profit by making the remaining product more scarce. Let me be the first to suggest that the Taliban planted the drugs in the desert so they could be bombed and increase profits. It’s almost as good as not making the extra product in the first place!

  8. Self-correction: Before I finished the article, I thought the idea was that this was the Taliban’s stash. But anyway, yeah, since there are plenty of other providers on the international market, I doubt this will create a shortage leading to windfall prices for any one source.

  9. This is a good place to point out Gary Becker’s paper explaining the futility, in economic terms, of rendering most goods with inelastic demand illegal, instead of taxing them at an optimal rate. (Warning: not for mathophobes.)

    Basically, it’s what Takuan said in #2.

  10. funny but true, cannabis is clearly not addictive like heroin or cocaine, but people need to get out of their heads occasionally SOMEHOW. So oddly enough, the demand is indeed inelastic.

  11. Exactly. And the social value of cannabis is, I would argue, not negative – perhaps it is smaller than the private value of cannabis, but it’s hardly a social evil. (Becker says the social value of a good has to be extremely negative to warrant making it illegal, as opposed to taxing it.)

  12. while on the topic of bloodless economic analysis, is it “better” to maintain the Waronsomedrugs Industry – which does give lucrative employment to police, prison guards, bribable politicians and drug “educators” ( The “Justsayno Industry”, closely aligned with the Commercial Salvationalists (see Pat Robertson etc.), purely for the economic impetus it gives society? The only real cost is the lives ruined, and those being intangible are not shown on the balance sheet.

  13. silly me, I forgot taxes. Like the ones the mob does not pay and the huge ones that would be collected from all and sundry if pot were legal.

    ….I have it! The only way the enormously bloated military machine can be sustained is by a pot tax!
    Anyone against legal pot is a terrorist! You don’t smoke dope, you ride with bin Laden! Traitorous swine!

  14. Do they really have four significant digits for the weight of a bunch of hash spread over “an area the size of two football pitches”? Seems unlikely.

  15. c’mon doc, it’s the media. they wouldn’t lie to you. and Oh-High-Costello, it is no longer the ‘justsayno inc.’, now we gots the ‘above the influence LLC’ which somehow causes your dog to lose all respect for you, and somehow steals your bones and connective tissue. i’m just going by the adds. but, whoa. creepy. i remain but yer humbull savant,-el screwfly

  16. 111 full time administrators? Then? How big is the payroll today?

    White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a Cabinet level component of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, was established in 1988 by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. Its stated goal is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives to eradicate illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences in the U.S.

    The current director is John P. Walters; his position ubiquitously is nicknamed the Drug Czar, a term first used in the media by U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. in October 1982.[1] In addition to running the ONDCP, the director evaluates, coordinates, and oversees both the international and domestic anti-drug efforts of executive branch agencies and ensures that such efforts sustain and complement State and local anti-drug activities. The Director advises the President regarding changes in the organization, management, budgeting, and personnel of federal agencies that effect U.S. anti-drug efforts; and regarding federal agency compliance with their obligations under the National Drug Control Strategy, an annual report required by law.

    As of mid-2006, there were 111 full-time employees at ONDCP.[2]

  17. Marijuana can be addictive. Everyone who has ever
    smoked resin scraped from a bowl please raise
    their hand. Maybe the addiction is less damaging
    than crack or alcohol, but some people do become
    addicted to it.

    However, that is a personal health issue. It’s
    not the business of the government to police
    people’s health choices. I choose not to use
    it, but that is my own choice, not the
    government’s. I have no right to tell someone
    else to live the same kind of life that I do.

  18. of those that I have met that might become “addicted” to marijuana, I think they would as likely become addicted to anything else available. Pot does less harm than booze to those unfortunate few..

  19. The real Mythbusters should sue that stupid “abovetheinfluence” site.

    Gotta watch out for that pot laced with cocaine, PCP, and formaldehyde; apparently that’s why pot isn’t harmless. They don’t go into exactly why someone would ‘lace’ pot with something more expensive like cocaine, but hey, different strokes and all that. To avoid the extremely unlikely possibility of getting a PCP-laced joint, schoolchildren new at the game should avoid buying pre-rolled joints from a stranger in some park somewhere. And the idiots I knew in high school (aptly named) who intentionally laced their own stuff with formaldehyde had a hard time finding it (it’s apparently a killer buzz, heheheh).

    One question about the article: Why would anyone go through Vietnam to smuggle 9 tons of hash oil from Pakistan to China? Smells a bit more like bovine-based fertilizer than hash to me…

    Considering the terrain and distance involved, it seems a bit excessive, especially since the smugglers would have to cross into India first and that border is a hot spot to say the least. The quickest way to Vietnam from Pakistan involves going through parts of China, oddly enough, and they’re presumably paying off everybody they need to pay off in the 4-6 countries along the way (depending on their route). That makes for some excessive operating expenses IMO.

    On the other hand, maybe they ‘forgot’ to properly bribe the Vietnamese authorities. You want to make absolutely sure that check clears before heading out! The likely-dead-by-now guy who was in charge of all that cocaine seized by the Coast Guard probably did the same thing, or maybe it was a simple misunderstanding and some rookie Coast Guard cowboy jumped the gun, but all the coke was quietly returned to it’s unlawful owner with an apology for the inconvenience.


    How the hell did images of my brain get as widely scattered as… my brain? When were these taken, because I don’t recall ever having had a SPECT image made of my brain. Well, that could be the short term memory loss thing I guess, not that I smoke it anymore since my brain has long since turned to mush and now I just lay around eating Cool Ranch Doritos to reminisce about the munchies.

    The Reefer Madness era is returning. Consider those scary brain scan images and these disturbing anecdotes:

    “More lethal” skunk invades Britain:

    One joint can drive you insane. INSANE I SAY!

    Lots of joints drive you psychotic:

    Or lead you to… Murder!

    Here’s all the proof you need: One woman smoked a lot of it for awhile and had a bad time, ergo it should be banned. Check it out:

    But that’s OK, I protect MY blood-brain barrier with coffee!
    (goes great with Britain’s killer skunks)

    But wait, maybe there’s no problem after all:

    In fact, the REAL threat to society, clearly worse than a horde of invading murderous skunks (at least in terms of worker productivity), is email and phone calls:

    The above article is very clear: Email makes us, like, totally stupider than pot. OMG!

    At least cannabis growers have apparently managed to breed out the very undesirable side-effect of compelling black jazz musicians to sexually assault white women. Used to be a huge problem back in the 1930’s, I hear.

    One last news flash: 100% of people who abstain from all drugs and alcohol throughout their entire lives thus maintaining a perfect brain… DIE ANYWAY. Same goes for vegans and joggers. Health and fitness are great, but everything in moderation- including moderation.

  21. OMG! Imagine what you would do if you found 19 tons of coke!

    /You’d be dead in a week, that’s what you’d do.

  22. One should note that Amen’s brain scans aren’t exactly mainstream accepted science. I’m not arguing with them, just saying that neurologists and those that are theoretically in the know say he’s not scanning what he thinks he’s scanning.

  23. It makes you post comments on blogs.

    Geeze, between “it” and “they” we are kinda screwed aren’t we?

    Only one thing for that…(crinkle)

  24. dculberson, I’ll look in to that. Do you have any links? I just found out about him last week. He’s all about taking care of your brain so you feel better during the day.

  25. one comment from the mainstream media that is really geting my panties in a wad is the whole “pot is now 20(30?)X stronger now than 20 years ago” meme. that is complete bullshit! hell, in 1980 i was getting gainesville sinse that was easily as potent as some of the varieties i see today! in ’83 i tried my 1st Honolulu strains ( which knock one’s dick straight to the dirt!), and in ’85 i sampled some of Humbolt County’s finest. i wont even go into the thaistick and jamaican lambsbread i had sampled in the 70’s. sure, if you compare mexican shitweed to hydroponic White Widow, yes, there is a great difference. it has always been thus. but the stuff that is said in the name of thewaronsomedrugs is pure propaganda! hemp could save our planet! if given half a chance.

  26. Amen is a genius. He has revived phrenology by putting the bumps INSIDE the head. Entrepreneurs – I mean “doctors” everywhere, owe him a debt of gratitude. Did you know the literal meaning of entrepreneur by the way? “One who enters and takes”.

  27. one comment from the mainstream media that is really geting my panties in a wad is the whole “pot is now 20(30?)X stronger now than 20 years ago” meme. that is complete bullshit!

    Yup. A friend of mine put it this way: “You know, I don’t ever remember not getting stoned in the 70’s.” I gave him the requisite heckling about that comment, but he’s right.

    The beauty of more potent cannabis is that much less is needed to achieve the same desired result, therefore the stronger it is, the safer it is due to inhaling less smoke overall.

    And how do we know those scans weren’t showing the result of consuming all the MSG in those hideous Doritos, thanks to poor diet choices made while in the throes of the munchies?

  28. At least cannabis growers have apparently managed to breed out the very undesirable side-effect of compelling black jazz musicians to sexually assault white women. Used to be a huge problem back in the 1930’s, I hear.


  29. Read Ben Elton’s “High Society” – brilliant novel about what would happen if government finally saw the advantages of legalizing, therefore:

    – eliminating 80% of organized crime
    – controlling the quality
    – therefore reducing the health risks
    – and TAXING the hell out of it

  30. And for every ton they burned there, there’s at least 20 that hit the streets.

    Shame on whoever linked to the DEA propaganda website, I feel dirty now. As a recovering addict, I can tell you that marijuana is not physically addictive, but you do not deal with reality on reality’s terms when smokng it, and that’s what’s dangerous to a to a person that’s predisposed to substance abuse.

    I still toke on occasion, but hardly every week. Marijuana is much more fun when used sparingly, it reminds me of being 16 and giggling a lot.

  31. Can anyone here to a mockup image of what 236 tons of hash looks like? With an average sized human next to it? I’d love to get a sense of scale.

  32. “I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits – and millions of Americans agree with me.”
    Hunter S Thompson

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