Vice Squad
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
 
Afghan Opium Update


Vice Squad recently reported on the Afghanistan poppy crop, and planned U.S. efforts to implement a spraying campaign to eradicate it. Today's Seattle Times tells us that the Americans have scrapped these plans due to pressure from Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai.

Although Karzai has declared a "holy war" against the drug (I wonder how that differs from a more traditional war on drugs - more candles maybe), he is worried that the spraying campaign will injure innocent people.

Further, Karzai maintains that current efforts are working to reduce poppy production. The U.N. believes that poor weather has contributed more to a reduced poppy crop this year, however, than eradication efforts.

Afghani, U.S., and U.N. officials all talk about the horrors of poppies, and how growing this plant aids and abets terrorists. No where, of course, in their rhetoric is a hint of wisdom or understanding that it is the policy of criminalization endorsed by these governments and organizations, not the agricultural product in question, that aids the terrorists.

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