Gold grows on plants in Swaziland. It is a kingdom with a real life monarch and a real life Queen. It is a tiny nation which is located somewhere in the ankle of the African continent.
The gold in Swaziland is derived from marijuana. The cannabis leaves are worth their weight in gold. Cannabis also serves as a monetary standard for the common people. Subsistence farmers grow the banned crop to survive. Without this additional income each citizen has to make do with a little over a dollar a day.
This cash crop is suddenly in the news because of a news item in the west highlighting the plight of a grandmother named Khathazile who is forced to grow the crop in order to send her grandchildren to school. Swaziland is plagued by AIDS and many children are left parentless in the care of grandparents. The marijuana farmed secretly is sold to South Africa through illegal smuggling agents who appear at harvest time to buy the small lots of marijuana.
The King and Queens have a lavish life style. The King had fourteen (er, fifteen) wives at last count. The poor people are condemned to cannabis farming. The poor live up to the motto ‘we hide ourselves away.’