Apologies for being boring

#1
and harping on about this:

Support for Mr Karzai should be replaced by commitment to institutions, clearing the way for new leadership. The drugs trade, pillar of the insurgency and pillager of the government must be broken: the only way to do it is to buy up the opium crop and destroy it. The allies must stop the air strikes – except in open battle – and use troops to secure territory and focus on creating jobs, schools and clinics, roads and markets. Offering Afghans a path out of the lawlessness and corruption in which they are trapped is basic to any chance of success. It might split the Taliban. And it is a strategy all US allies should support.


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f53ddec-ff8b-11dd-b3f8-000077b07658.html

but is anyone listening?
 
#2
#3
Not boring at all MSR. But the message needs to be continually rammed home till the myopia of this Government and others (UN) finally falls away.

The simplest and easiest way to do this, is to get questions asked in the house, and that's as simple as getting your MP to ask them.

I disagree with destroying the crop. I very much support turning the crop into medical opiates and reaping the rewards.

Now if someone can construct that into cash terms for the Prime Minister, and sell the benefits of cheaper opiates and going back to free prescriptions for smackheads and the subsequent reduction in crime , as well as funding our operation there , then we might get somewhere.

Pombsen if we try that, they'll keep growing it and take the money anyway. They know how to grow opium, let them do that, and subsidise complimentary agricultural incentives from the sale of opium
 
#4
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
msr said:
the only way to do it is to buy up the opium crop and destroy it

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f53ddec-ff8b-11dd-b3f8-000077b07658.html
No. You can pay people not to grow it - much like the EU set-aside scheme.
Too hard to control. What would be stopping them taking the money not to grow it and then growing it anyway?

Much better to buy the crop, use what is needed for opiate based legitimate medicines and then store / destroy the rest.
 
#5
Aunty Stella said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
msr said:
the only way to do it is to buy up the opium crop and destroy it

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f53ddec-ff8b-11dd-b3f8-000077b07658.html
No. You can pay people not to grow it - much like the EU set-aside scheme.
Too hard to control. What would be stopping them taking the money not to grow it and then growing it anyway?

Much better to buy the crop, use what is needed for opiate based legitimate medicines and then store / destroy the rest.
To me this seems the best solution, why is it not?

Is there some self interest thing doing on?

Or is there a real problem with this course and if there is, what is it?
 
#6
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
msr said:
the only way to do it is to buy up the opium crop and destroy it

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f53ddec-ff8b-11dd-b3f8-000077b07658.html
No. You can pay people not to grow it - much like the EU set-aside scheme.
And offer an alternative. Saffron seems to work as an alternative in some places though it takes a couple of years before it's profitable.

Also keep in mind that the Taleban have a large amount of this crap stored. Destroying the crop now will mean an initial rise in prices. Thus we shouldn't expect immediate possitive effects. It's a long term issue and I'm not sure how much time is left for us all in Afghanistan.
 
#7
PartTimePongo said:
Not boring at all MSR. But the message needs to be continually rammed home till the myopia of this Government and others (UN) finally falls away.

The simplest and easiest way to do this, is to get questions asked in the house, and that's as simple as getting your MP to ask them.

I disagree with destroying the crop. I very much support turning the crop into medical opiates and reaping the rewards.

Now if someone can construct that into cash terms for the Prime Minister, and sell the benefits of cheaper opiates and going back to free prescriptions for smackheads and the subsequent reduction in crime , as well as funding our operation there , then we might get somewhere.

Pombsen if we try that, they'll keep growing it and take the money anyway. They know how to grow opium, let them do that, and subsidise complimentary agricultural incentives from the sale of opium
Careful - this seems to a good idea and for the life of me I cannot see the problem with it :D

So that's that idea down the Swanee.
 
#8
Aunty Stella said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
msr said:
the only way to do it is to buy up the opium crop and destroy it

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f53ddec-ff8b-11dd-b3f8-000077b07658.html
No. You can pay people not to grow it - much like the EU set-aside scheme.
Too hard to control. What would be stopping them taking the money not to grow it and then growing it anyway?

Much better to buy the crop, use what is needed for opiate based legitimate medicines and then store / destroy the rest.
Agreed - it is hard to control, but less so if you pay them not to grow it whilst allowing them the opportunity to supplement this fixed income through production of other crops, and allowing them access to external markets in order to sell them.

Even then, the drug barons could then merely pay the farmer more to grow the opium, than the West pays him not so to do.

There is no easy solution, particularly until the West decide what it wants to achieve. With at least 4 distinctive, and inter-related but counter-productive tasks (capacity building, nation-building, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics) is it any wonder that we remain firmly fixed to the hamster wheel.
 
#9
Aunty Stella said:
Much better to buy the crop, use what is needed for opiate based legitimate medicines and then store / destroy the rest.
Great idea, but IMO one reason it won't work is those corrupt officals that skim some money from each deal as it goes up the supply chain won't be getting their cut. The corruption starts at the top.

So unless the drugs are bought when they reach the top of the chain, having allowed the corrupt officals to each have their cut, it won't work. But if you allow this then you are guilty of propping up a corrupt government thats involved in the drugs trade.....
 
#10
jarrod248 said:
PartTimePongo said:
Not boring at all MSR. But the message needs to be continually rammed home till the myopia of this Government and others (UN) finally falls away.

The simplest and easiest way to do this, is to get questions asked in the house, and that's as simple as getting your MP to ask them.

I disagree with destroying the crop. I very much support turning the crop into medical opiates and reaping the rewards.

Now if someone can construct that into cash terms for the Prime Minister, and sell the benefits of cheaper opiates and going back to free prescriptions for smackheads and the subsequent reduction in crime , as well as funding our operation there , then we might get somewhere.

Pombsen if we try that, they'll keep growing it and take the money anyway. They know how to grow opium, let them do that, and subsidise complimentary agricultural incentives from the sale of opium
PTP,
It would be of no use to have the Heroin crop for medicinal uses - there is far too much of it. We grow our own in the UK anyhow.
The trials on giving Diamorphine to Heroin addicts is very expensive much more so than Methadone due to the amount of supervision involved.
Prescribing injectables to Heroin addicts is pretty much frowned upon due to the risks of overdose if someone sells them.
Injectables will only ever be given to the very few who high doses of oral Methadone have not worked. There are very few Doctors allowed to prescribe Diamorphine for drug users.
Hi Jarrod,

The market I envisaged for medical opiates was not confined to just the NHS.

As for prescriptions of opiates, I believe this was the case up to the late sixties?

.Sven makes a very good point , at what point in the supply chain do you buy the crop? If you cut (alllegedly) Afghan Government officials out of the loop , their first reaction will be to make things very very difficult for us.

Conversely, you could argue they're already doing that.
 
#11
So why don't the reasonable countries around the world buy it and make it into MORPHINE, I heard some time ago there was a shortage world wide.

After all for what ever their reasons for NOT sending troops to the war, they can put their hands in their pockets and do some good for their own people!
 
#12
Aunty Stella said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
msr said:
the only way to do it is to buy up the opium crop and destroy it

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f53ddec-ff8b-11dd-b3f8-000077b07658.html
No. You can pay people not to grow it - much like the EU set-aside scheme.
Too hard to control. What would be stopping them taking the money not to grow it and then growing it anyway?

Much better to buy the crop, use what is needed for opiate based legitimate medicines and then store / destroy the rest.
Correct in every respect, Aunty Stella. It would also go a long way to alleviating the desperate shortage of medicinal opiate products in the world.

MsG
 
#13
The answer is for people in the West/World to not use drugs..... no customer, no money, no point in growing the stuff. Simple answer but impossible to stop the taking of drugs it's never going to happen.
 
#14
jarrod248 said:
PTP,
It would be of no use to have the Heroin crop for medicinal uses - there is far too much of it. We grow our own in the UK anyhow.
The trials on giving Diamorphine to Heroin addicts is very expensive much more so than Methadone due to the amount of supervision involved.
Prescribing injectables to Heroin addicts is pretty much frowned upon due to the risks of overdose if someone sells them.
Injectables will only ever be given to the very few who high doses of oral Methadone have not worked. There are very few Doctors allowed to prescribe Diamorphine for drug users.
Does not seem like we grow enough: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...opium-poppies-tackle-NHS-morphine-crisis.html

More here: http://www.poppyformedicine.net/ from ICOS ( http://icosgroup.net/ ), formerly Senlis.

msr
 
#15
I was on Methadone for over SIX years, as a part of Pain Contol, it did not work either but they told me there was nothing better . . .

Although what ever the chemical in a joint, DOES work and that's just the resin . .

What IS it like to be pain free for the part of any one day?
 
#16
rickshaw-major said:
Careful - this seems to a good idea and for the life of me I cannot see the problem with it :D

So that's that idea down the Swanee.
And it's been done before:

Turkey’s successful transition from a culture of widespread, unregulated poppy cultivation to a licensed, controlled system of poppy cultivation for the production of medicines provides an interesting model for Afghanistan. Analogous to the current situation in Afghanistan, in the 1960s Turkey was one of the world’s main opium producing countries. After several years of tense negotiations, political pragmatism prevailed, resulting in Turkey switching from unregulated crop growing to licensed poppy cultivation for the production of medicines. The Turkish political dynamic was such that poppy farmers’ interests were key to the stability of the country. When Turkey deemed total eradication both technically and socially impracticable, the US and the Turkish Governments worked together to implement a poppy licensing system for the production of opium-based medicines, as an alternative means of bringing poppy cultivation under control. Turkey was then able to resume poppy cultivation, under a strict licensing system supported by the United Nations and a preferential trade agreement with the US.

http://www.poppyformedicine.net/modules/case_studies
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
A few months ago at my old work place, just about every opiate based drug except 8/500 co-codamol was on restricted supply. Apparently just about all the manufacturers were having trouble getting enough raw materials of sufficient quality. Now it may well be Afghan opium is rather poor quality, but SOME of it should be good enough. Hell, don't buy up the opium. Offer incentives to the drug companies to buy it for themselves- either direct subbsidies or tax breaks. Opium for UK use is grown on farms in the home counties with massive security and shortages seem to happen fairly regularly. Cut out the expense of security and have more bulk raw materials in the first place. Seems to be a sound business model. And having a first stage processing plant or 2 would provide industry to the Afghan ecconomy
 
#18
There are a couple of issues here in danger of conflation. The first is that of opium in Afghan, the second that of heroin/diamorphine, uses and desirability of.

The first issue seems straightforward to me. Our declared "war on opium" does not only royally piss off the large chunk of population which depends upon the opium crop for its livelihood, it also enriches the drug barons who may or may not be involved in the export of raw opium from Afghanistan and who may or may not be associated with leading government figures. To my mind, the pragmatic (and cheap option) is simply to buy the crop ourselves and either destroy it, or, as suggested, refine for medical use. It doesn't really matter, the purchase is a sunk capital cost and is certain to be cheaper than the military operations which will not now be necessary - especially as many of the Taliban operators, I gather, are disgruntled opium farmers.

The second issue is more problematic and involves politicians manning up and ignoring the Daily Mail - and admitting that the "War on Drugs" has as its main achievement the current amazingly low street price of high-quality narcotics. In real terms, it's never been cheaper or more accessible, whether talking about cannabis and derivatives, amphetamines and other uppers, cocaine, crack and otherwise, hallucinogens, MDMA or opiates. The unpalatable fact for some is that many people take drugs because they enjoy it and are unconvinced by government advice, particularly as some of it is manifest nonsense, spouted for political and media-arse-kissing reasons (see classification of ecstasy).

There is an obvious solution here, which has the additional benefit of taking a lot of drug-associated criminality out (if you no longer need to rob hundreds of pounds' worth a day in order to buy gear of inconsistent quality, you probably won't, after all), but that's a separate debate.

Note that I'm not a drug user, apart from Embassy Number 1 and strong coffee and am not advocating that the entire population sink into addiction.
 
#19
Last year there was some bloke on the radio representing one of the European agencies dealing with the issue of providing alternative cash crops in lieu of heroine. The proposal to buy afghan poppies for converting to legal drugs was put to him. The problem is that a huge amount of effort and cash has been put into poor regions of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to encourage them to produce legal poppy crops. If you were to pull the plug on those regions there cash supply would dwindle and result in absolute starvation and more poverty. You would be punishing them for indulging in legal activity in order to reward the illegal.

Even in legal poppy cultivation it needs expensive infrastructure, policing, security and guarding to stop the traffickers trying to step in.

I believe the Governor of Helmand is trying hard to change the Poppy culture in face of some opposition from the President and family.
 
#20
So can we set up 'protected areas' where growth, cultivation and initial processing can take place?

The major drug companies won't come in without that in place , and the locals we need to do that work, won't if we can't guarantee their protection.

Can we set up and garrison protected enclaves associated with the trade?

The underlying fact is, we need to cut the Taleban and assorted badmashes off from their money supply, but we can't do that at the expense of pissing off those we need to work with us.
 

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