What are illegal drugs, except another commodity to be traded?
Either our drugs policy is stupid or crafty. I suspect the latter.
Stupid - if it believes that sending troops abroad to eradicate crops
would stop drugs coming in. The evidence in Afghanistan and Colombia proves
that it has the reverse effect.
Crafty - if, under the guise of 'eradication'
or a 'war on drugs', it actually 'secures' control of illegal supplies
and is able to maximise profits by keeping these cheap foreign-made drugs
expensive so they don't compete with medicines produced in the UK.
It is feeble minded to suppose that today's British elites take no
pointers from our
historic past or have suddenly become disinterested in margins...
As with so much of the debate on Comment
if Free, the media's framing of discussion of UK involvement in Afghanistan
assumes an alruistic intent that was never there in the first place.
A more likely scenario is that our troops are doing great work internationally
... to support our commercial interests.
Leading UK companies produce OIL,
GUNS & DRUGS.
To put the following in perspective, BP's reported profits were about
£10 billion in 2005. Here are some figures for the heroin trade
from Afghanistan, rounded up/down for simplicity and extrapolated from
government and UN
1000g opium from Afghan Farmer costs £50
1g street heroin from UK dealer costs £50
1000g opium makes around 150g pure heroin
or 375g street heroin (40% pure)
Afghan Farmer gets £50 for 1000g opium
UK street seller collects £18,750 for 375g heroin
Afghan Farmer sees just 0.26% of the final sale value
The sale value of heroin in UK is 375 x the cost of
basic raw material (opium) needed to make it.
4200 tonnes opium produced in Afghanistan in 2004
from which 650 tonnes pure heroin may be made
Cost to buy in Afghanistan = £210 million
Can make 1600 tonnes street heroin (40% pure)
Street value in UK /Europe = £80 billion
Opium production under Taliban in 2001 = 185 tonnes
Opium production under Karzai in 2004 = 4200 tonnes
Ends | 10 July 2006 | The Leg
Graph: Pumping up the volume post US/UK invasion
in late 2001. The British public were told that part of the rational for
a UK troop presence would be opium
'Using its market power to compel Bengalis ryots [peasants] to cultivate
opium at below the cost of production, the Company harnessed its monopoly
position in such a way that it was making 2000 per cent profit by the
time each chest of 63kg was sold in China... the Company was keen to disown
any direct responsibility and ensured that the drug was shipped into China
by independent agency houses... the opium was grown under Company monopoly
in India... The Company also intervened with military force to protect
its dominant position...Sales of opium provided the Company with one in
seven of its tax rupees in India...Crucially, by 1828, the Company was
generating enough revenue from its sales of opium ... to pay for its entire
purchase of tea... and, with a tenth of government revenues back in Britain
derived from tea duties, the entire imperial edifice rested on a mountain
of opium... Extensive parliamentary inquiries... found few faults in the
Company's conduct; most agreed that the imperial benefit of the opium
trade justified its blatant illegality... only in 1907 did Britain finally
agree to stop the export of Indian opium.
Corporation that changed the World - How the East India Company Shaped
the Modern Multinational by Nick Robins, p151-167
'As in Southeast Asia and later in Southwestern Asia (Afghanistan and
Pakistan), the CIA's secret war in South America led it into conflict
with official US policy. The CIA provided arms and equipment (including
air transportation) for uniformed warlords who were financed by revenues
from cash crops grown by peasants and processed into narcotics. Such operations
created a network for clandestine international arms deals that could
finance illegal CIA wars without congressional knowledge, much less oversight...
Laws against marijuana, cocaine, and heroin did not stem the demand or,
therefore, the supply. Local warlords or military and police officials,
using arms and equipment provided by the CIA and the Pentagon "to
fight communism", established protection rackets that often mushroomed
into full-scale trafficking, including processing plants and laundering
money through banks. As with Air America and Southeast Asia, the CIA's
aviation contractors in Latin America became indirectly involved in the
trade by asking few questions about the cargo of CIA clients or became
directly involved as participants in drug runs.'
will be Done by Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett p524
$1bn opium harvest in Afghanistan with our help...
Film: The House I live in: Illegal
drugs fix for jobless US poor?
scenarios for drugs policy in the Americas
hit Latin Americans lead call for decriminalisation of drugs
CIA's bags of cash buy influence... or drugs in Afghanistan?
to retain 9 military bases in Afghanistan post 'withdrawal'
impact of British forces patrolling Helmand - it is the world's No1 opium
increases any harm related to recreational drugs
production under Karzai in 2012 = 5800 tonnes
of Karzai's warlord allies assassinated
brother Walai - a drugs trafficker on CIA payroll - killed
finds uncontaminated MDMA doesn't wreck minds