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Turkmenistan shares a 446-mile border with Afghanistan and a 595-mile border with Iran; both are remote, rugged and mountainous in parts.
Although the bulk of counternarcotics operations are concentrated at the borders, it is impossible to effectively police the entire length, and law enforcement agencies are severely underfunded, undertrained and underequipped.
Documented history began in earnest during the latter part of the 2nd millennium BCE, as Scythians and related Indo-European horse tribes from the northern steppes began to populate the area.
The Scythians were first recorded to use cannabis in around 700 BCE, although it is likely that use had already been established for some time at this point.
Turkmenistan is a Central Asian nation, formerly part of the USSR, which due to its proximity to Afghanistan has become an increasingly significant hub for trafficking heroin and cannabis.
As well as being an important transit country, Turkmenistan produces significant quantities of opium and cannabis each year.
It was reported that analysis of the samples confirmed the presence of cannabis and ephedra.Opium use has long been traditional in Turkmenistan; this has persisted in modern times and is now increasing, particularly in rural areas, where the majority of habitual users now inject.Cannabis and hashish use is also prevalent and increasing, but usage rates of all drugs including cannabis is far lower in Turkmenistan than elsewhere in Central Asia.Much of Turkmenistan’s prehistory is unknown to us, although a culture known as the Oxus or Bactria-Margiana civilisation occupied the region from the Neolithic until around 1700 BCE; archaeological evidence indicates that their civilisation was at its peak at around 2300 – 1700 BCE, boasting significant urban complexes with impressive walls and gates, monumental architecture, wheel-turned pottery, viticulture, and complex ceramics, tools and jewellery.