Monday, September 26, 2005

Reuters report on Senlis conference in Kabul

Speaking to Reuters on Sunday, Afghani Counter-Narcotics Minister Habibullah Qaderi said the country "is not ready to adopt a controversial proposal to use its opium to help ease a global shortage of painkillers."
"As far as the licensing at this moment is concerned, I am saying no," he said. "I'm not in favour because it jeopardises the whole of our effort ... There would be anarchy in this country now. It would create a lot of problems."

..."We don't want to confuse the Afghan people, because the Afghan people would be confused, because while the government on the one hand wants to control and stop cultivation, we are talking about licensing.

"I think it's too early to talk about licensing."
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) isn't keen on the idea either, rejecting it out of hand. Of course they've been led around by the nose by the US prohibitionists since the UN Drug Conventions were first enacted.

Both the Minister and the UN cite the confusion farmers might have over the conflicting messages and claim their eradication efforts have been successful in eliminating the number of acres devoted to poppy cultivation. They make cursory notice that due to a banner year for poppies, production of the resin used to make heroin didn't appreciably diminish.

It doesn't sway their illogic thinking however. Both remain hopeful that with the new planting season about to begin, they can further reduce the areas under cultivation. That should work about as well as my hope to someday win a few million bucks in the lottery.


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