Since prohibition clearly doesn’t work, I suggest a different approach.

Opium poppy cultivation levels in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013

The military is NOT always the answer.

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko writes:

“Despite spending over $7 billion to combat opium poppy cultivation and to develop the Afghan government’s counternarcotics capacity, opium poppy cultivation levels in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013 . . . As of June 30, 2014, the United States has spent approximately $7.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan”

Read the article quoted above.

Read the Wiki on Afghan opium.

A different approach

Prohibition doesn’t work. (You would think we might have learned hat lesson from our own experiment with alcohol.) What if we tried something different? Here’s a simple description-

Have the Afghan government license the poppy farmers (to keep track of things) and the United States guaranteed we would buy all the opium they could produce ? What might happen?

  • Something seen as evil could be put to a good use.
  • As part of the program, Big Pharma would use it to produce useful drugs.
  • The opium would be off the street and out of the black market.
  • The Afghan farmers would make a legitimate living doing what they know how to do.
  • The Afghan military would have a real, vested interest in protecting their country from insurgents.
  • Afghanistan would have the basis for a real economy using a product that thrives naturally.
  • Per capita income, standard of living, loyalty to the government vs. the Taliban would all increase.
  • The United States would exchange the role of occupying oppressor for benevolent business partner.
  • We might still spend ~a billion a year, but it would buy positive results.
  • Afghanistan and the world would be better for it.


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