03 February 2009

It's WAR! Destroy the ... poppies!

This could not be more wrong-headed. Soon the Canadian military in Afghanistan could be targeting Afghan drug lords and poor Afghan farmers' poppy fields.

Canada's top general, Water Natynczyk, says that the
ties between the drug trade and the insurgency are too strong to dismiss any longer, as profits or product often end up directly in the hands of fighters.

"Most times that we have operations, our soldiers, sailors and airmen have found drugs right there with Taliban," he said. "So the nexus between drugs and terror is very, very strong."

The drug lords make huge profits precisely because nations like the USA, Canada and the UK prohibit the use and sale of narcotics. Hence, the price of drugs which are deemed illegal skyrockets. Ironically, these nations are fine allowing alcohol and tobacco consumption, which major studies, including this one have shown to be far more damaging to individuals and societies.

But that's a separate issue. Allowing that leaders of these nations will remain recalcitrant to stopping the War on Drugs™ - might it be that it, too, is profitable in its own way? -, there is presently a workable, legal solution which would undermine the position of the Afghan drug lords almost immediately.

Instead of destroying poor Afghan farmers' livelihood, Canada should support using their crops for legal purposes, to produce morphine tablets. Such medication is desperately needed in under-developed countries.

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