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David Grigoryan Samtredia, Georgia - ...
Samtredia
By David Grigoryan
20 Aug 2016

Activists pasting a suicide note deceased person in front of the police and journalists.

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Pothead
Groningen
By Ralf Falbe
07 Nov 2015

Marijuana smoker wearing a gas mask in Groningen, Holland.

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Lebanon's Hashish Industry In Hard Times
By Levant Desk
07 Oct 2014

September 21-October 4, 2014
Lebanon

Lebanon's lucrative hashish industry has been experiencing a turbulent year as environmental problems and the fallout of the Syrian war are having conflicting effects on crop production. As the harvest season begins, hash farmers are beginning to feel the averse affects of an unpredictable year. An extremely dry winter saw a sharp decline in rainfall, leading to a withered and depleted crop yield. At the same time, crop burning raids by the Lebanese Army have become less frequent, as they are preoccupied with securing the Lebanese-Syrian border from the threat of the Islamic State Group and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front. While the farmers have less to fear from the Lebanese authorities, they now have to fear the very environment they have depended on for decades.

Shot list:

Smoker (male) lighting and smoking a joint (indoor)
Various shots of the preparation of a joint (indoor)
Various shots of crowded streets (outdoor)
Wide shot top view of Bekaa valley (outdoor)
Following car into the hash farms (outdoor)
Various shots of farmers cutting the hash plant (outdoor)
Farmer’s hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Farmer’s 7 year old son in the field (outdoor)
Gun sticking out of land owner’s waistband (outdoor)
Various shots of owners and farmers weighing the harvested hash (outdoor)
Hash plant in dealer’s house (outdoor)
Various shots of farmers collecting the harvested plants for weighing (outdoor)
Various shots of hash plant in dealer’s house and in the field (outdoor)
Farmer collecting the harvested plants (outdoor)
Farmer shows his hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Close up of farmer’s hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Various shots of MAG submachine gun at dealer’s house (outdoor)
Smoker (male) preparing a joint (indoor)
Smoker (male) lighting and smoking a joint (indoor)
Various shots of consumer (male) lighting and smoking has from a pipe (indoor)
Pan-right of smoker's apartment leading to preparing a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) prepares a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) lights a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) prepares a joint (indoor)

(01:35) Farmer 1: “This is the main season now, we work all year long for this season. It’s the same season for apples and hash. We harvest and sell them both.” (01:48)

(01:49) Farmer 2: (01:47) “This bunch is about 15kg, we need about 20 of these to make 1kg of Hashish. When we hit it with the metal tool the buds drop off and we throw away the branches.” (02:26)

(02:30) Farmer 1: (02:30) “The apples sell according to the market price. If we get a good price we sell them, if not we put them on the crossroads. But the hashish always gives a good price. We suffered a lot this year to water the apples and the hashish. We run around all day long for a bit of water. This is my son yes, he is 7 years old and he also works with me.”

(03:16) “We were not able to water the apples well, or the hashish, we were not able to water them properly. Before we used to have a lot of water for the plants. Now we do not have much. There are a lot of Syrians here. We have about 15-20 workers.”

(03:37) “We start planting in the spring, we work all year and now it is the season. At the end of September they will both be ready.”

(04:00) “Al-Bekaa valley as you know, has a population of over one million and a half. Those who do not plant hashish benefit from it in other ways.”

(04:42) Farmer 2: “When you’re child is hungry, you can wait for a day or two, a month maybe, but what next? If my kid is crying he wants milk, where do I get it from? Do I allow my kid to die in front of my eyes, while I look around and see other people eating? This might lead me to look for money illegally. This [pointing to the marijuana plant] keeps my pride; I do not steal or hurt anyone for money. It is true I get tired as a farmer, but at least I find something in return without hurting anyone; it has benefits more than harms and they have been planting it since the old days and it appears on the news. They did different studies and researches about it in USA and UK, it is legal in Switzerland but they cannot export it. Are we smarter than these countries that they still are still doing researches about it? They give a small dose for a young kid who has cancer; he stays 6 hours in a lot of pain. Try giving him a dose of hash and he feels nothing.”

“In 2014 they tried everything to distract us, they tried to plant chestnuts, which cannot survive here in our country, they tried to plant saffron which needs experts from Iran, they tried to distract us in every way possible so they can keep stealing from us.”

What do they want to do to the people? Al-Bekaa valley has over a million and a half people living in it. Even the people who do not plant it, benefit from it. If the farmer does not plant the hashish, he cannot afford to use a carpenter or a black smith for example, he cannot buy things from the supermarket, and it will snow ball and nobody will have a job.”

“President Kamil Chamoun used to hunt in this area, he used to love to hunt. So the government used to bring trucks and confiscate the hashish just to show the press that they are working on solving the hashish problem. After they were done they would give the hashish back.”

“I am almost 60 years old and we have been planting the hashish for as long as I can remember, my mother and father used to plant it before me, and my grandfather before them. Ever since the French colonization they have been planting it and the French government, along with the Lebanese government, used to come here and get into conflicts with the inhabitants of the area. And they would still plant it. Ever since the 1950's this plant had not left this village and not only this village but all of the Bekaa. I am a person from the Bekaa and I represent all of Bekaa, and the people of Bekaa all represent each other." (08:03)

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420 Celebrations in Denver 4
By Stephen Swofford
21 Apr 2014

A man burns a giant joint during 4/20 in Civic Center park in Denver. At 4.20 pm, all attendees light up.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 6
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Quincy smokes from a gigantic joint in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in downtown Denver. For years, the festival had aimed at supporting the legalization of marijuana. In a statement, one of the organizers said that the event is now a "celebration of legal status for its use in Colorado and our launch of an exciting new experience for those attending.".

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420 Celebrations in Denver 2
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Quincy smokes from a gigantic joint in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in downtown Denver. Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, it is still illegal to smoke it in public. But during the festival, the police allow the smoke-out to happen and are mainly there for security and to keep the smokers inside the park area.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 10
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Cory coughs smoke at 4:20 during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver.

The festival started to support legalization of marijuana and attendees were mostly marijuana activists. This year the event has an official city permit. It is organized by an events management company. Kiosks selling Greek good, lollipops and glass pipes are now everywhere.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 11
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Concert-goers smoke in front of the Denver Court building during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park, in front of Denver Capitol.
Attendees traditionnally light up at 4.20 pm, while attending concerts.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 9
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Concert-goers smoke in front of the Denver Court building during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park, in front of Denver Capitol.
Colorado has legalized marijuana for "recreational use" in private places on January, 1st. The festival has been going on for year and its first goal was to support the legalization of marijuana.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 5
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Concert goers pass around a giant bong during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park in Denver. This year has witnessed a big shift in the festival organization, with more police and more merchandise. The festival used to be a gathering of marijuana activist demanding its legalization.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 14
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Attendees dance in the auditorium at Civic Center Park during the annual 4/20 festival. The festival area is fenced and two stages are set up with a number of bands and kiosks in front of the Capitol building in downtown Denver.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 15
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

The view of the capitol building from Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival. Police made their presence known at the event, but were lenient on enforcement. People were searched before entering the festival area and no bags were allowed inside it.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 7
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Rod rides his home-made motorized recliner through Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in Denver.

Denver police declared they issued 47 citations for public marijuana consumption : despite marijuana being legalized, it is still illegal to smoke it in public.
Denver Health Medical Center paramedics declared they treated 14 people : most of them had passed out because of a mix of substance use and sun.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 12
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Rod rides his home-made motorized recliner through Civic Center Park during 4/20 celebrations in Denver. 80,000 people attended the two-days festival as marijuana is now legal in Colorado.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 13
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Christopher Pha enjoys a quiet moment away from the 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver. The festival area is fenced and two stages are set up with a number of bands and kiosks in front of the Capitol building.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 3
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

A man who wished to stay nameless smokes a giant joint in Civic Center Park during the annual 4/20 festival. 80,000 people gathered to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 1
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

A young man smokes from a gigantic joint in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in downtown Denver.
Festival-goers said that policemen were more present this year than the past ones. The area was fenced, with entry points where attendees were patted down and bags checked. Some streets were also closed. A shooting marred the festival last year, hence the highest number of security guards patrolling the venue.

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420 Celebrations in Denver
USA, Denever
By Stephen Swofford
19 Apr 2014

80,000 people gathered to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. The annual 4/20 festival in Denver takes place at the Civic Center park in front of the Capitol, and lasts two days. As Colorado legalized the use of recreational marijuana on january 1, many people were expected at this year 4/20 festival.

The festival has been going on for years and its first goal was to support the legalization of marijuana. It was mostly attended by marijuana activists.

Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, it is still illegal to smoke it in public. But during the festival, the police allows the smoke-out to happen and is mainly there for security and to keep the smokers inside the park area. Traditionally, all attendees light up at 4.20pm.

The festival area is fenced and two stages are set up with a number of bands and kiosks in front of the Capitol building.

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Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay 2
Montevideo,MVD, Uruguay
By BenjaminSilva
10 Dec 2012

The legalization of marijuana in Uruguay is a social experiment that will be watched by other goverments debating the drug legalization.