A worker harvests cannabis plants at a field in Bouday in northeast Lebanon, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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For the second year in a row, cannabis farmers in the Bekaa Valley have been able to reap their harvests without being harassed or prosecuted by the security forces.Due to these factors, the farmers' cannabis crops are no longer targeted by the Army.Hussein N., a farmer from the village of Al-Qasr in northern Hermel, agreed that the planting and harvesting of cannabis this year had been very calm. He explained that this year the fields near Baalbek and Hermel planted with the drug covered five times more land than before and as a result the crops were no longer limited to the outskirts of Hermel but were now very close to residential villages and cities in the northern Bekaa. Mahfouz Mahfouz, the head of the Development Association in Hermel, estimated that the amount of land planted with cannabis this year totaled around 60,000-80,000 dunums, one third of the total suitable land for the drug in the Bekaa Valley.
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