Legalizing production of opium in Afghanistan for medical use would be unworkable and fuel the drugs industry, a UK Foreign Office minister has said.
Lord Malloch Brown said Afghanistan lacked the infrastructure and resources to control crops. Legalizing crops could drive up prices and lead more farmers to grow opium, he told the British Medical Journal.
Doctors have suggested the opium, which contains morphine, could help plug NHS shortfalls of pain relief drugs. Diamorphine, also known as heroin, is used to relieve pain after operations and for the terminally ill, but in recent years doctors have reported supply problems.
The British Medical Association and some Tories have suggested in the past that Afghan crops could be used to help boost supplies, arguing this would help meet demand and provide much-needed income for Afghans.
Smoke the world! That’s all missing!