Articles

Using a political ecology framework to examine extra-legal livelihood strategies: a Lesotho-based case study of cultivation of and trade in cannabis

Author: Julian Bloomer (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Using a political ecology framework to examine extra-legal livelihood strategies: a Lesotho-based case study of cultivation of and trade in cannabis

    Articles

    Using a political ecology framework to examine extra-legal livelihood strategies: a Lesotho-based case study of cultivation of and trade in cannabis

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Abstract

Rural livelihood strategies that engage in criminalised activities and hidden economies are an important, yet understudied, aspect of achieving economic diversification. This paper discusses findings from a project that examined the role and importance of cannabis cultivation, as a criminalised cash crop, in Lesotho. The research employed a multi-strategy approach that combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Cannabis income was found to play a very important role in economic and livelihood diversification in the study area. The paper concludes that cannabis production, as an extra-legal livelihood strategy, should be viewed by policy makers using a livelihoods focus, rather than a criminal one, if rural smallholders are not to be further marginalised by drug control policies.

Keywords: cannabis, Lesotho, political ecology, extra-legal livelihood

How to Cite:

Bloomer, J., (2009) “Using a political ecology framework to examine extra-legal livelihood strategies: a Lesotho-based case study of cultivation of and trade in cannabis”, Journal of Political Ecology 16(1), p.49-69. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v16i1.21691

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Published on
30 Nov 2009
Peer Reviewed