Opiates for the People

You may not have heard of this; I certainly had not. Via LGM, re-framing Afghanistan’s poppy problem as an opportunity for global health:

The Afghan poppy crop could be repurposed away from illicit drug production, and towards manufacturing licit opioid analgesics to address unmet needs for pain palliation, particularly for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancer in the developing world—that is, illegal opium could be converted into legal pain medicine, solving two problems at once.

Are they saying that you could actually think about a problem differently and then do things differently to achieve a desired result? Instead of being a’scourge’, opium production in Afghanistan could be channeled into a legal, profitable trade that would reduce pain and suffering worldwide? Wha? Would this sort of change in thinking be open to other issues, or is this a one time offer? I think we should still take it.

Bonus question: What’s the drug war going to say about this? I’ll bet it will worry and won’t be happy.

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