Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tory party presses for licensed Afghan opium

This article, published on the 24th July 2006 in the Guardian, reports that Conservative party members are encouraging David Cameron, their leader, to push for the licensing of Afghan opium. They are arguing that the current coalition's attempts to eradicate the crop are a threat to both coalition troops and to the people of Afghanistan who rely on the crop as nearly their sole means of income. Given the worldwide paucity of opiate based medicines such as morphine, licensing opium would provide Afghan farmers with a legal and secure income whilst reducing the black market in heroin. A similar scheme was successfully undertaken in Turkey in the 1970s although at the time the US Drug Enforcement Administration was bitterly opposed. Ironically Turkey is now the main supplier of opiate based medicine to the US.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In some ways I think this is a good idea, but I dont think it would reduce the black market supply.

Growers would just produce more, some for the black market (where I presume the price would be higher) and some for the legal market.

This would of course bring some much needed legal money into the country. But it wouldnt remove the warlords and the drug smugglers who have run parts of Afghanistan for years.

If it was done at the same time as a wide spread heroin prescibing programme, then it would go a long way to tackling the problem.