Opium for the people: Extraordinary move to legalise poppy

#1
The 'IoS' can reveal Tony Blair is considering calls to legalise poppy production in the Taliban's backyard. The plan could cut medical shortages of opiates worldwide, curb smuggling - and hit the insurgents
By Francis Elliott
Published: 01 April 2007

The buds of millions of poppy flowers are swelling across Afghanistan. In the far southern provinces bordering Iran, the harvest will start later this month. By mid- May the fields around British military camps in Helmand will be ringing to the sound of scythes, rather than gunfire.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article2411398.ece

One can only hope this is a vanishingly rare outbreak of common sense and not an April Fool....

msr
 
#2
Wasn't this a proposition originally floated by you back in the dim distant MSR?

I did expand on it elsewhere. Do we get a GEMS? :D

Seriously though, if this is true, we can win the peace in Afghanistan. The knock-on effects would be tremendous.

Perhaps it's going to be the cornerstone of an announcement by the new Prime Minister?
 
#4
I didn't realise said erstwhile ARRSE'r and member of the FANY was illegal in the first place.

But do we need more of her, especially manufactured in Afghanistan? Surely one's enough...
 
#5
CaptainPlume said:
I didn't realise said erstwhile ARRSE'r and member of the FANY was illegal in the first place.

But do we need more of her, especially manufactured in Afghanistan? Surely one's enough...
I've read this at least a half-dozen times now, Cappers, but I'm fücked if I understand what you're on about.

Any chance of an explanation?

MsG
 
#8
msr said:
One can only hope this is a vanishingly rare outbreak of common sense and not an April Fool....

msr
Agree with you wholeheartedly. This would in one foul swoop deprive the Taliban of their money and alienate them from the farmers who would, I hope, get more money for their crop from purchases made for medicinal pruposes.
 
#11
India and Turkey have been doing ths for decades. How about punishing the users? or not throwing money at them?
 
#12
This could be a very rare outbreak of uncommon common sense - and highly effective realpolitik.

Never mind that it logically undermines the law's opposition to those in UK who defy current law and grow cannabis etc. for medicinal purposes. They already have a good deal of public sympathy. And there's also the school of thought that regards the legalising of all drugs as a short way to stamping on the misery of the illegal drugs world.

But I'm not so sure of Toby Ellwood's theory that legalised Afghan poppy-farmers could be gradually weaned off that crop onto other staples. What other harvest could ever be that profitable?

A very interesting one . . .
 
#13
It worked in Turkey in the 1970s, so there is a model to follow.

msr
 
#14
There is a shortage of dia morphine and its now considred the bench mark for pain control .(Diamorphine its not just for cancer :twisted: )
The various atifical versions having just as many problems as morphine .
So increasing the legal supply would be good.
Legalise the lot with the proviso anyone supplying someone under the age of 18 gets burned at the stake .
 
#15
I've long been a proponent of making heroin freely available to registered users. Most crime relates to drugs of dependance, principally heroin I believe.

Even just buying the opium from the Afghanis for medicinal purposes is so blindingly obvious that anyone with half a brain would have been doing it from the start.

War on Drugs, War on Terror - more illegal drugs, more terrorists. Hmm....
 
#16
EX_STAB said:
I've long been a proponent of making heroin freely available to registered users. Most crime relates to drugs of dependance, principally heroin I believe.

Even just buying the opium from the Afghanis for medicinal purposes is so blindingly obvious that anyone with half a brain would have been doing it from the start.

War on Drugs, War on Terror - more illegal drugs, more terrorists. Hmm....
Got to agree with you there. I would be interested to see how much it costs to do this rather than pick up the tab for detecting and dealing with the associated crimes, not to mention the aftermath of said crimes.
 
#17
dingerr said:
EX_STAB said:
I've long been a proponent of making heroin freely available to registered users. Most crime relates to drugs of dependance, principally heroin I believe.

Even just buying the opium from the Afghanis for medicinal purposes is so blindingly obvious that anyone with half a brain would have been doing it from the start.

War on Drugs, War on Terror - more illegal drugs, more terrorists. Hmm....
Got to agree with you there. I would be interested to see how much it costs to do this rather than pick up the tab for detecting and dealing with the associated crimes, not to mention the aftermath of said crimes.
It is certainly a way forward that merits real investigation. Addicts are created by suppliers to create a market, the existance of the illegal market creates crime both in the supply and in finding funds to feed the habit. Feed the habit from a legal source and the crime associated with feeding the habit falls, and at the same time the value in creating addicts falls as they no longer need to use the suplier to feed their habit.

Seems to make sense, but the anti drug business is controlled by ur old chums the yanks and they are religiously set against any concept of legalisation of drugs in any way.

As to buying up the Afghan poppy harvest, what ever they do with it it wil be a real hit against the Taliban and will equally open the road to weaning farmers of poppy growing.

Peter
 
#18
I certainly wouldn't agree to legalisation, that just opens up the flood gates to widespread use and therefore other inherent problems.

A controlled environment where people could be educated and weaned off the habit would provide a better society in the long run.
 
#19
Legalisation does not have to mean unrestricted widespread use, heroin used to be available on percription and there was not widesspread use, there were very few drug pushers and dealers. The Yanks persuaded us that we should go for a total ban and see where we have got to. Think about what happened in the US with prohibition, we have suffered just the same with drugs. Round where I used to live the local plod reconned that up to 90% of petty crime housebreaking mugging etc was driven by drugs. How much of the gun crime we have today has it's roots in either drug taking or the drug trade, think about it

Peter
 
#20
dingerr said:
I certainly wouldn't agree to legalisation, that just opens up the flood gates to widespread use and therefore other inherent problems.

A controlled environment where people could be educated and weaned off the habit would provide a better society in the long run.
Never going to happen I'm afraid. Humans have always enjoyed getting off their t!ts on a variety of substances, trying to stop that is utterly futile. The key is to minimise the harm it does. I use alcohol myself by the way. Do you ?

Besides, one of the major drivers for illegal drug use is the fact that its illegal. Illegal means its sold by criminals for lots of money, hence direct economic incentive for the pusher to get as many people as he can hooked. When women are trafficked for the sex trade the first thing the pimp does is get them hooked on smack, so they have an incentive to stay.

Give it away free and you'd see a dramatic drop in thieving - no need to steal to buy the next fix means - funny old thing - no stealing to buy the next fix.

Plus an awful lot of really nasty characters see their cashflow dry up. Indeed, you'll see a concerted campaign by pushers to try and stop this kind of initiative.
 

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