UN wants 'flood of drugs' in Afghanistan to devalue opium - Guardian:
"United Nations officials in Afghanistan are attempting to create a 'flood of drugs' in the country intended to destroy the value of opium and force poppy farmers to switch to legal crops such as wheat.
After the failure to destroy fields of the scarlet flowers in Afghanistan's volatile south, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says the answer is to stop the drugs from leaving the country in the first place.
'Manual eradication is incompetent and inefficient,' UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa said during a visit to the western Afghan province of Herat. 'So we want to see more efforts to stop the flow of drugs across Afghanistan's borders and the hitting of high-value targets to create a market disruption.
'We want to create a flood of drugs within Afghanistan. There will be so much opium inside Afghanistan unable to go out that the price will go down.'"
Whaat!!? Is this for real? Is this something dreamed up by UN policy makers relaxing with a pipe? Have we gone back 100 years to the Opium Wars, when Britain forced our opium products down the collective Chinese trachea? Where is the cheap opium supposed to go? To be used as cattle fodder? To make plasticine substitute for Afghanistan's deprived children?
6 million people a year die in agony from cancer and AIDS, and instead of channelling Afghan opium their way, it is going to flood Afghanistan with spare opium to bring the price down. This is market based ideology gone stark raving mad. Market based, because they are trying to use supply and demand mechanisms in a hopeless attempt to control the opium. Hopeless given the miles of porous borders, and the endemic corruption in the country.
Addiction behaviour is a function of inclination and availability. The inclination is there, due to the desperate condition of the average Afghan. UNDOC is adding the availability factor, if they succeed in damming up the outflow, resulting in masses of cheaply available opium.
The case for buying the opium is as strong as any case I have known in 35 years of campaigning. Government and its fellow-travellers are still peddling the absurd objection that some of the legitimised opium could find its way onto the black market, whereas at the moment all of the damn stuff it going to the black market.
Luckily I am a psychiatrist, so am used to dealing with this sort of thing.
Unluckily the persons with cognitive difficulties are running the world.
Ah well. Take a deep slow breath. Onwards and upwards, and click the Afghan and opium labels below.