Skip to comments.West 'should buy the Afghan opium crop'
Posted on 11/21/2005 3:58:37 PM PST by JTN
The West should buy up Afghanistan's opium crop and license its use for pain-relief medicines rather than trying to destroy the crop, it is proposed today.
The Senlis Council, an international drug policy think-tank with operations in Afghanistan, says the planned deployment of 3,000 British troops to smash the narcotics trade there is doomed to fail.
Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has once again emerged as the world's leading producer of opium. Almost all the heroin sold on Britain's streets comes from remote farms in the mountains, controlled by tribal warlords out of reach of the central government in Kabul.
The UN last year called Afghanistan a "narco-economy" responsible for 87 per cent of the world's supply of illegal opium, with a harvest of 4,100 metric tonnes.
Some 3.5 million Afghans are involved in the opium trade, which accounts for two thirds of its gross domestic product.
Senlis will present a feasibility study of its plan today at Chatham House in London. The idea is to establish a licensing system under which the Afghan government would control poppy cultivation for the production of opium-based pain killers, such as morphine and codeine, rather than trying to suppress it.
The study suggests that a military response to the problem will prove ineffective and simply destabilise the country's fledgling democracy. Emmanuel Reinert, the executive director of Senlis, said: "It is totally unrealistic even to attempt to eliminate the crop.
"How can one hope to achieve stability and gain the support of the farmers for a new Afghanistan through the destruction of the crops that provide for their families?"
Senlis argues that as there is a shortage of pain-killing drugs, and the EU allows farmers to grow opium under licence, the same opportunity should exist for Afghanis.
Giving meaningful protection to the farmers from the drug trafficking warlords, combined with encouraging the Afghan farmers to grow legitimate food crops that are needed by their own country is the logical answer.
Given the billions that we spend on drug interdiction, we should make the same offer to all the coca growers in SA.
Maybe the DEA should buy crack from the street dealers so they can regulate it???? Seriously, these people are nuts. (Although opium would be less harmful than many of the painkillers currently being offered by physicians since it has less side effects). The idea should be to get 'LESS' opium and narcotics being used instead of rewarding 'farmers' (also known as drug lords) for growing a deadly and addictive substance. Or, if the Euro-weenies are really, really serious, they should require that the Afghan government buy it and distribute it to their own citizens. That would at least limit the damage.
Sounds like a PING for the Libertarians to come forward from the shadows once more.
I'm pretty sure that every criminal of every kind could make the argument that it is costing too much to eradicate their business and that ultimate success is not possible so it should just be purchased by the government instead. Brilliant!!!!
the west should have sprayed and killed it all, then, if anuthing, gave the seeds for corn, wheat, soy beans
Why not treat the Afghan Poppy farmers the same way we treat some American farmers, pay them NOT to grow poppies.
"Okay, 3.4 billion, my friend."
"Dude! No way dude! Are you kidding me?!?! 400 million."
"You're killing me! I got bills man. 2.5 billion."
"That's more than I paid in the eighties, when things were tight man! This sh*ts all over these days man. Buyer's market. 550 million."
"Then go, man! Just forget it. One point five."
"750, man, and that's it. That's all I got."
This was considered by the Reagan Administration; both for Burma (the Shan State) and later Afghanistan-Pakistan. The problem in both cases was dealing with local trafficking kings and lowlives who would break a bargain at a moment's notice.
Opium is a legitimate crop. It is used to make pain medications used in this country, and many farmers in countries besides Afghanistan are licensed to grow it for this purpose.
Painkillers used in this country are derived from opium. That is why the idea was put forward. We can have a legitimate economy based on this crop that will help people both in Afghanistan and out of it, or we can make sure that opium is left only to the warlords and terrorists.
The Senlis council is not a criminal organisation; it's a drug policy think tank. Their proposal is that opium be grown legitimately for use in painkillers (as is done in other countries).
The West fumigates drugs to kill them all the time. That program doesn't really work as the growers just move their crops from place to place. In Afghanistan we are given a choice - we can fight opium, damage their economy, foster anti-U.S. resentment and make painkillers in this country more expensive, or we can let them grow the drug and benefit both them and us.
The Afghans ony can figure this out and we need to support them.
This needs to be a variant of Biological Warfare.
The US should fund a Manhattan Project to develop viruses [sic] that will infect poppies, coca plants and marijuana, altering the genetic mechanism that produces the drug components to instead produce a toxin. Natural insect pests can then be bred as vectors.
The Drug Lords would never know what hit them, as the yields drop year by year and everyone blames (and kills) someone upstream in the production chain for cutting the crop with poison.
Someday, I (and it better not be anybody else, since I'm documenting my story idea here) will write a novel about this and the scientist that develops the family of viruses will then blackmail Big Tobacco. She will wind up on Uncle Sam's Hit List, due to the precipitous drop in tax revenue that could result if she's successful. She'll escape the initial attempt on her life because the Hit man will think the inventor is a man and will shoot her Grad Student assistant...(to be continued)
Any Novelists out there that want to collaborate on this idea can Freepmail me.
I'm trying to figure out how serious you are.
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