From the archive, originally posted by:  [ spectre ]

Canada troops battle 10-foot Afghan marijuana plants / October 12, 2006

OTTAWA, Canada (Reuters) — Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants
in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy —
almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall.

General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said
Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In
response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their
vehicle with marijuana.

“The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very
readily. It’s very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices. … And
as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban don’t dodge
in and out of those marijuana forests,” he said in a speech in Ottawa,

“We tried burning them with white phosphorous — it didn’t work. We
tried burning them with diesel — it didn’t work. The plants are so
full of water right now … that we simply couldn’t burn them,” he

Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.

“A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did
catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that
had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course
of action,” Hiller said dryly.

One soldier told him later: “Sir, three years ago before I joined the
army, I never thought I’d say ‘That damn marijuana’.”