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Poppies

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Poppies

Postby Huckleby » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:28 am

I'm having a hard time figuring-out what to do in Afghanistan from here in my command bunker.

The Taliban derives much of its power and income by serving as military protectors for the poppy growers. The new plan for Afghanistan is to send over agricultural specialists, and I assume we will pay farmers to grow alternate crops. Its been done before and worked temporarily.

The entire value of the opium crop is only $400M to the Afghan people, chump change compared to our military expenditure. The U.S. could simply buy the whole crop and destroy it annually.

I don't see how ANY suppression approach can work in the long term, and it drives farmers into the Taliban's protection racket in the short term. Afghanistan provides the heroin for Europe, IRan, Russia, etc. You cut off that supply, and the black market price will shoot through the roof. You might kill production for a couple years, but corruption will inevitably bring it back as prices rise.

The only solution I can think of is to convince governments around the world to legalize heroin. The poppies can be used to make both methadone and heroin, controlled and dispersed legally. Ween Afghan farmers off of poppy production only if and when demand is decreased through drug treatment.
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Re: Poppies

Postby gozer » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:00 am

The entire value of the opium crop is only $400M to the Afghan people, chump change compared to our military expenditure. The U.S. could simply buy the whole crop and destroy it annually.


which they most assuredly will do even in the face of a severe shortage of natural and semi-synthetic opioids and production and/or political problems stopping the flow of some of the synthetics. damn.

maybe buying the opium and reselling it to pharmaceutical companies would be a better idea. that kind of thing would help out lebanon, whose opium grown in the biqa' valley was as good as the hashish from the same area, and give various elements in the region a lever to use against ahmadinejad.

maybe allowing family farmers to plant up to eight hectares of tasmanian high-morphine poppies could help save the family farm, no?

c.i.a. and karzai helping out the opium farmers? hooray for the c.i.a.! tippicanoe and karzai too!
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Re: Poppies

Postby Huckleby » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:35 am

gozer wrote: maybe buying the opium and reselling it to pharmaceutical companies would be a better idea.


Agreed. I have mended the error of my thinking since I posted that screed. If the U.S. were to attempt to buy-up the opium crop, it would drive-up world-wide prices, increase the incentive to smuggle opium out of Afghanistan or grow it elsewhere. IT wouldn't work.

I think the point on legalization makes sense, though. That will allow the legal cultivation of poppies with higher prices for the farmers. that might help.
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