What if Afghanistan Legalized Opium?
Reza Azlan, writing at The Daily Beast, posits that legalizing opium could save Afghanistan:
America's drug war in Afghanistan has been a miserable failure. So why not legalize opium production and let Afghanistan become the Saudi Arabia of morphine?
He makes some good points. Among them:
It is time to admit that the struggle to end poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is a losing battle. The fact is that opium has long been Afghanistan’s sole successful export. Poppy seeds cost little to buy, can grow pretty much anywhere, and offer a huge return on a farmer’s investment. Only the Taliban has ever managed to significantly reduce opium production in the country (as it did during its late-1990s rule)—a feat managed by executing anyone caught growing poppies. It is no exaggeration to say that we have a better chance of defeating the Taliban than putting a dent in Afghanistan’s opium trade. So then, as the saying goes: if you can’t beat them, join them.
It won't happen, of course. Instead, Congress will redouble its efforts to pass "narco-terror" laws which will end up being used here at home against people who wouldn't know a terrorist if they found one in their soup. (Another example of a failed bill that could make a comeback here.)
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