Fighting the war on drugs... and winning.
April 1, 2001 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Fighting the war on drugs... and winning. In less than a year, without outside assistance, a relatively impoverished country has managed to knock out the world's main source of opium. Who is this progressive regime? Step forward, the Taliban.
posted by holgate (12 comments total)
Oh, yeah, the Taliban are just a sweet bunch.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:27 PM on April 1, 2001

I always thought that Tasmania in Australia grew like 70% of the world's opium. I could be wrong or maybe that's legal farms for the medical industry.
posted by Zool at 9:08 PM on April 1, 2001

....and Mussolini made the trains run on time...
posted by jpoulos at 9:12 PM on April 1, 2001

Oh great. 10% of the population of this city (Baltimore, MD) is addicted to heroin. This could be pretty hard on more than a few people in a few years whe the lack of supply drives the price too high. Are there any good synthetic heroin sources?
posted by donkeymon at 9:40 PM on April 1, 2001

Are there any good synthetic heroin sources?

besides methadone?
posted by mathowie at 9:45 PM on April 1, 2001

(There are days I wish that Mark Twain's dream of a back-slanted typeface called "ironic" had come true.)

And Zool: you're right about Tasmania: I should have said "main source of opium for heroin".
posted by holgate at 9:50 PM on April 1, 2001

This article pointed out the linkage between this and the Buddha statue destruction. It really was just done to spite us.

Matt, alternatives to methadone exist and, more important, work just as well.

And with addiction rates twice the national average [though one alarmist source I saw claimed fifteen times], I guess Baltimore really does have a serious heroin problem, some 12.8% by these conservative estimates. Whew.
posted by dhartung at 1:26 AM on April 2, 2001

if you want an alternative to methadone, and potentially a cure for all addicting substances (alcohol, cocaine etc), you should look at the mysterious african root bark iboga and its active ingredient ibogaine
posted by maqua at 4:20 AM on April 2, 2001

Well now we at least have a blueprint as to what's required, and all we need is some forceful yet charismatic individual (much like this Mussolini you speak of) to overthrow the government and implement it.

More seriously, I see parallels between the Taliban's behaviour and the recent spate of ostracized american teenagers shooting up their highschools. When nobody likes you, you don't really need to worry about opinion polls anymore; there will come a time when you stop caring about what the community (of nations or whatever) thinks of you.

There there, Holgate. There there.
posted by cardboard at 5:29 AM on April 2, 2001

Revolutionary zeal seems quite good at eradicating the opium trade, like in maoist China for example.

Though 30 million non drug related deaths was a high price to pay.
posted by lagado at 6:44 AM on April 2, 2001

The Taliban may have gotten rid of the supply within its borders, but it really won't affect the 'big picture.'

As long there is a demand for it anywhere in the world, there will always be someone willing to supply it and cash in. If not in Afghanistan, then some other country.

When will the 'drug warriors' learn that drug prohibition policies try to invalidate some of the most basic rules of economics? They may as well try to repeal the law of gravity.
posted by Dirjy at 7:15 AM on April 2, 2001

Maybe the opium was hidden in all those statues...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:07 AM on April 3, 2001

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