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History of CBD and Cannabis: Kyrgyzstan

by in CBD Information December 6, 2019
CBD Oil In Kyrgyzstan
Bordered by Kazakhstan to the north and China to the easy, Kyrgyzstan has a long history of cannabis cultivation, trade, and personal consumption owing to its strategic geographic position. Although most of the country is very mountainous, it serves as a direct route from portions to Asia and Central Asia to Europe and the Middle East. Moreover, the country has been locked in political, economic, and social turmoil ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, causing many criminal drug operations to flourish. Over the years, Kyrgyzstan’s relationship to cannabis has evolved due to Soviet influences, lack of stable government infrastructure, and recurrent criminal violence in the nineties.

Cannabis, CBD, and Kyrgyzstan

Many believe that cannabis originally developed in the mountainous regions of Central Asia before slowly migrating to Europe, East Asia, and North America through human trade routes. Nearly twelve thousand years ago, the ancient Scythians, a tribe inhabiting portions of modern day Kyrgyzstan, used cannabis for ritualistic and religious purposes. Cannabis became and increasing aspect of life in the tribe, which caused it slowly spread from the Scythians to other ethnic groups in Mongolia, the Chui Valley, and Persia. Nowadays, evidence of ancient use still exists. Many cannabis crops grow wildly in the southern and northern regions of the country, popping up all along the naturally humid and irrigated regions of the lush Chui Valley. In the springs, locals will head up the valley in order to plant cannabis seeds, only returning later in the season to harvest the crops.

Kyrgyzstan Culture and Cannabis

Even though cannabis has played a large role in both the economy and cultural history of Kyrgyzstan residents, the government has a no tolerance policy towards all forms of cannabis crime. However, punishments for those possessing trace amounts of marijuana are typically very light compared to the country’s neighbors. Additionally, Kyrgyzstan government still has a limited ability to actually consistently enforce cannabis law. Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, a legal vacuum opened up in many Eastern European and Central Asian spaces. To this day, Kyrgyzstan remains a center for ethnic conflict, economic depression, revolt, and continual political battles for dominance. In order to escape poverty, many families have turned to the drug trade because it can be incredibly lucrative. On the global market, one acre of marijuana is at least thirty times as profitable as a comparable acre of soy. Coupled with low rates of enforcement, families feel comfortable engaging in illicit cannabis distribution schemes all across the country. For reference, it’s been estimated that nearly 80 percent of families in the Chui region are somehow involved in the illicit cultivation of cannabis. Local officials either turn a blind eye or extract regular bribes to keep families out of trouble. Ultimately, cannabis has occupied a tremendous political, social, and economic role throughout Kyrgyzstan for thousands of years. Though it’s not likely the central government will legalize cannabis soon, families still manage to flourish in the illicit industry.

Author: Leafwindow Team

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