Saturday, March 05, 2005

New government report discovers dealers are still selling drugs - everywhere

The International Narcotics Control Board issued its 2004 report and in the understatement of the week announces, "Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state." I hate to tell these guys that it's been a "narco-state" ever since we liberated them by kicking the Taliban out. During their regime the trade had been all but eliminated. At the moment, opium production, after doubling last year, has now tripled and forms a large portion of their national economy. Essentially without the dope, the country is broke.

The US is urging Afghanistan to pursue a Plan Colombia style eradication campaign however they should hope Karzai doesn't read the report. It admits Colombia, despite having spent over a billion of our tax dollars on their allegedly successful program still contributes 90% of the cocaine and half the heroin coming into the US. The report fails to mention the execution of Plan Colombia has also fomented a civil war, displaced the indigenous population and permanently contaminated the Amazon rain basin with powerful chemicals.

It's long and I only read one section but I was struck by the repeated admission that HIV was being spread by injection drug users through shared needle use and that injection users were a growing population in Africa and South Asia. They further acknowledge a woeful lack of treatment facilities. And yet the Bush administration takes an incomprehensible position against needle exchange programs and other harm reduction methods and even as you read this, is exerting pressure on the UN agencies involved in implementing the drug conventions to end successful proposals that were already agreed upon previously.

The report covers all drug producing regions of the world and the link is worth keeping. It's hard to find. Thanks to Doug McVay for passing it on to us.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home