U.S. Opposes Efforts to Legalize Opium in Afghanistan: The Rationale Against Legalization   [open pdf - 149KB]

"In recent months, we have seen several articles and reports advocating the legalization of opium in Afghanistan. While this idea does have surface appeal to some, legalization would be a severe mistake that would undermine efforts to bring a stable democracy to Afghanistan. The governments of Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States are all opposed to the legalization of opium in Afghanistan, as are the relevant technical agencies of the United Nations. In the following pages, we examine the main arguments raised in favor of legalization as advocated by The Senlis Council, an organization with offices in London, Brussels, Paris, and Kabul. While we use The Senlis Council's proposals as a starting point for our discussion, the points made are applicable to other proposals to legalize opium in Afghanistan. The Senlis Council, which has been quoted by mainstream media as an authority on this subject, has published a report with dangerous conclusions, which are based on the misleading use of statistical information and sources, often simplistic methodologies, and an inattention to the complexities of Afghanistan and the international market for licit opiates."

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U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov
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