Monday, April 09, 2007


Tony Blair reportedly "is considering calls to legalise poppy production ... [to] cut medical shortages of opiates worldwide, curb smuggling - and hit the insurgents" (The Independent - U.K., April 1). Discussion of any change in long-standing, dismally ineffective, drug-war policies is welcome. The problem here, however, is the continuing focus on illegal supply while ignoring demand. As long as millions of people worldwide seek opiates that are not indicated for pain control, there'll be an illicit traffic to meet that demand. And when it comes to purchasing the opium crop from Afghan farmers, there's no way legitimate businesses supplying physicians and their patients will be able to compete with those whose intended consumers are obliged to patronize the black market.

There is a more promising approach: rather than just legalize production, legalize the use by and prescribing to those dependent on opiates.


At 2:18 AM, Blogger ScottGK said...

That simply makes too much sense. Anyone with a modicum of onjectivity regrding illegal drugs in general and opiate addiction specifically must admit that enforced abstinence is not a realistic goal for drug policy. A legally maintained addict is the least harmful to society and himself. Unfortunately, there are still those who feel that accepting anything other than the impossible goal of total abstinence will "send the wrong message", especially the children.

As far as competing against the blackmarket for an increased share of the opium crop, I must agree the legal pharmaceutical industry cna't compete - as long as there is a significant demand forthe illicit product.

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out what all those promoting this concept fail to recognize....Poppy can be grown most anywhere, and synthetic opioids can always fill any gap in production. Shortages of pharmaceutical opioids are due to the prohibition-driven limits on production, not by some inherent scarcity of papaver somniferum.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had best dihydrocodeine retard in Spain, called Contugesic, but Mundipharma Labs. declared temporal suspension because stock shortage, 3 YEARS AGO. Money again


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