Sunday, August 26, 2007

The poop on poppies

No surprise here. Poppy production is up in Afghanistan for the second year running and the biggest explosion in culivated acres is occurring in the Taliban areas of the south.

Dr. Steve Taylor reminds us that the Taliban were never ideologically against the cultivation of the flower, they only forbade it for one year and that was to raise the price. They have always been entrenched in the trade and D at LGM provides the appropriate snark on the drug war and rightly notes that forced eradication is still a non-starter in Karzai's government in any event.

I would just add that this article is a good example of how the media aids and abets the dunderheaded tactics of the war on some drugs in the first place by uncritically repeating the White House propaganda. As the post I pointed out to you yesterday remarked, what is missing from the current debate on tactics is that trafficking, not cultivation, is where the money is and that's mainly going on in the north.

The "new" plan here is obviously to launch the same old Plan Colombia style eradication campaign. We've sunk almost 5 billion tax dollars into that one, over administrations run by both parties and haven't dented the cocaine trade, which goes to prove that drug war stupidity is truly a bi-partisan folly. The only way we're ever going to "win" the war on some drugs is to eliminate the black market by legalizing the seven drugs that are currently illegal, mainly because pharmaceutical companies don't control their distribution.

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