Pubdate: Sun, 25 Aug 2002
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2002 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Adam Wiggins


THE basic principles of economics are shown to be just as valid in the
black market as they are in legitimate ones ("Efforts to curtail
poppy cultivation fail," Page 6A, Aug 19).

Poor Afghan farmers, their land bombed and razed, are turning to the
only crop that can feed their families: opium. This crop is so
lucrative because of the massive demand from U.S. citizens, and
because drug prohibitions keep the supply tight. Low supply and high
demand equal vast profits, and such profits are bound to attract
struggling Third World farmers.

So, let's stop blaming Afghanistan, and instead place the blame where
it lies: with ourselves. Until we address the demand at home (through
treatment and education) and the supply (create a legal supply to
remove the black market), we have no place judging the Afghanistan
farmers for their choice of crop.

Adam Wiggins

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