Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Times critique of drug policy in Afghanistan

This article, published on 8 June 2006 in the Times at,,6-2215682,00.html examines how Western attempts to eradicate opium poppy production is causing increasingly desperate farmers to switch allegiance to the Taleban. Attempts to grow other crops have proven futile since the opium poppy is one of a very few that can survive the arid landscape and be profitable. The Western policy is extremely counter-productive. Not only are Afghans turning to the Taleban but attempts at eradicating the poppy have simply resulted in a flourishing of corruption where policemen charged with destroying the crops simply accept bribes. The situation is devasting for the Afghan people and for the troops deployed. The article concludes that Afghanistan would be much better off if the opium poppy could be cultivated legally to provide the morphine and codeine supplies which are absurdly in a global supply shortage.

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