Villages in India's northern state of Kashmir recently began producing large quantities of marijuana to fill a lucrative gap in the market created by the cut in supplies from Afghanistan and Iran.
GV Kashmir glen
GVs Women working in paddy field (3 shots)
GVs Horse-drawn cart on road
GVs Bejbehara town (4 shots)
SVs Open-air school classes (4 shots)
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Background: Villages in India's northern state of Kashmir recently began producing large quantities of marijuana to fill a lucrative gap in the market created by the cut in supplies from Afghanistan and Iran. Conditions are right, economically, socially and geographically. Kashmir is one of the poorer parts of India with female paddy workers earning only 1.50 US dollars a day, compared to the 7 US dollars a day they earn in June from planting marijuana crops. They also receive food and two litres of milk to combat the effects of inhaling marijuana for long period. The area is far removed from central government control in New Delhi and there are frequent reports of get-rich-quick drug growers being able to bribe police and customs officials. Before the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan and the war between Iraq and Iran slashed world production of marijuana Kashmir was relatively impoverished area. Now, like many other villages, the town of Bejbehara is enjoying new found prosperity with many houses being built with brick and masonry walls and tin roofs -- considered the ultimate luxury in Kashmir housing. Many others displayed television aerials that can pick up not only Doordarshan, the Indian state television station, but also programmes from Pakistan TV stations. Unofficial estimates value the Kashmir drug trade at between 40 and 50 million US dollars a year, and marijuana plants concealed underneath orchard trees, are known in Kashmir, as black gold.