Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Legal opium in Afghanistan

This seems an interesting proposition:

Afghanistan should terminate its expensive and largely unsuccessful opium eradication program. Instead it should license and control the production of opium for medicinal use. This is the recommendation of the Senlis Council, an international drug-policy advisory forum, that presented its analysis at a seminar in London on 21 November. The study said the switch would earn Afghanistan badly needed foreign currency and permit farmers to earn their livelihood legally.

And they would probably earn more than they now get from traffickers.

"The World Health Organization and the International Narcotic Control Board underline that there is a big shortage of morphine and codeine in the world," Reinert said. "Actually, 80 percent of the world's population is only having access to 6 percent of it. That really tells you a lot about the potential need for morphine and codeine made in Afghanistan."

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