Random thoughts on the War on Drugs

Afghanistan could become the Colombia of the Middle East

America’s Taliban-support program

by Jacob Sullum


According to a recent report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, 19,047 hectares of poppies were eradicated in Afghanistan this year, 24 percent more than in 2006. Meanwhile, the number of opium-free provinces more than doubled, from six to 13. Those victories were somewhat overshadowed by the news that the total amount of land devoted to opium poppies in Afghanistan rose from 165,000 to 193,000 hectares, an increase of 17 percent. Due to ‘favorable weather conditions,’ estimated opium production rose even more, hitting an all-time high of 8,200 metric tons, 34 percent more than the previous record, set last year. Since their efforts have had precisely the opposite of the result they intended, U.S. drug warriors, predictably enough, plan to try harder, calling for more eradication, possibly including aerial spraying of herbicide, and more interdiction. Over the long term, if history is any guide, these supply reduction measures will have little or no impact on heroin consumption. Over the short term, they will continue to strengthen the Taliban insurgency...


Random thoughts on the War on Drugs

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith

It is not my purpose in this essay to debate the merits or demerits of drug use, a question that should properly be left to the individual. … Given the number of turf wars, drive-by shootings, corrupted police and other officials, and invasions by police of the wrong address that are closely associated with the War on Drugs, it should be clear by now that drug laws and the attempt to enforce them cause vastly more destruction to individuals and society — and consume much more time, energy, and money — than the drugs in question ever did. We owe the existence and character of the police state which has sprung up all around us largely to government excesses in the name of the War on Drugs...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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