Monday, April 16, 2007

Technorati Blog

I visited Technorati, having searched for Opium in my blog, and they invited me to blog on opium so I wrote this:

The first problem: humans are suckers for anything addictive, in this case, opium and violence.

The second problem: we are, by waging war on drugs, trying to solve one addiction with another.

Third problem: War just creates a better armed and more cunning enemy. Note also that the terrorist favours the drug trade as a source of revenue.

Fourth problem: the war on drugs is ineffective. In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, we are on the losing side.

Now. Then. Let us rethink this issue. If military forces do not work, are there any other forces beginning with M that we can think of? Yes? Yes! Right! Market forces.

And how does that work in this case? Well, the farmer grows the opium. The drug baron/terrorist offers the farmer $100 for his crop. But the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime offers them $110. (Since you ask , this comes from about 0.001% of the cost of trying to fight a War on Drugs). So the farmer sells to UNODC, who sells some of it for pharmaceuticals and the drug dependence programmes, and destroys the rest.

And there, in a nutshell, we have it. Yes there are implemetation details to be worked out, difficulties to be overcome, important people to be persuaded. But we will get there. Eventually. At the end. Because the alternative is expnsive, deadly and ultimately futile.

And it is not just some inconsequential blogger saying this. Read on:

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