Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Afghani 'drug nexus'

Afghani 'drug nexus'
(published in Pakistan online July 31 2005 in response to article see extract, quoted below)

The nexus in the matrix of dysfunction created by illegal 'drugs' is the breakdown of rule of law. Even if all the efficient production of Afghani opium was directed towards ameliorative pain relief to the millions who need it worldwide it would still only meet 60% of known demand.
The persistent threat to peace and stability is the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotics and its banal enforcement that counterproductively turns a useful and needed agricultural commodity into conflict chemicals that destabilize economies and fund terror on both a local and international scale.
Good folk in South East Asia, Pacific, South America, Balkans, Middle East.. and former Soviet states suffer the same ignominy of a largely US enforced moral paradigm that is so flawed it should be a war crime to defend drug prohibition.
There is no efficacy in continuing the insanity.

Drug Policy and all that it represents should be a focus of the global community's United Nations review.

Until this core humanitarian issue is fixed we are, each and everyone of us, just pissing into the wind.

We are victims of what we condemn our neighbors to do to ourselves.

Blair Anderson
[extract from PakTribune - Problems and solutions in Afghanistan]
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in their 2004 survey has revealed that in 2004, agricultural land acreage in Afghanistan turned over to opium poppy cultivation increased by 64 percent, and the number of persons involved in producing opium increased by 10 percent compared with 2003. These are terrible statistics. They also indicate that drug lords have been more successful than the Afghan government in gaining the support of the Afghan farmers. The same UNODC survey estimates that the value of the narcotics industry in Afghanistan is equivalent 60 percent of Afghanistan's 2003 GDP.

There has been a direct consequence within Afghanistan to this situation. Warlords and drug traffickers are again rapidly increasing their economic, military and political presence in that country. This is natural, given the fact that they are providing money-earning opportunities to farmers and also tertiary employment opportunities through the hiring of armed militias to protect this illicit trade. Drug money is also assisting indirectly and financing the renovation of houses and shops as well as the construction of many new buildings in Afghan cities. This in turn is creating employment opportunities in urban areas.

The second threat to peace and stability has emerged from the continuous fight against 'insurgents,' such as the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda activists. Such combat inevitably involves local residents, destruction and humiliation of local communities. This creates hatred for the coalition and the government forces among the local people.

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