More land used for #Afghanistan opium than for Latin America coca

Map of Afghanistan showing the security situat...

Map of Afghanistan showing the security situation by district and opium cultivation by province in the period 2007 to 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Iran’s Deputy Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Rayeesi says since the US invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent military occupation in Afghanistan there has been “a 40-fold increase” in illegal drug production in that country since 2001. This increase is causing havoc for Iran which is fighting the flow of illegal drugs into their country from Afghanistan.

“The main reason for the considerable increase in narcotics is the presence of foreign forces, especially the US and the NATO (forces) and today drug production and trade are done under the control and supervision of the Americans,” Rayeesi said on Sunday.

Afghanistan has been the greatest illicit opium producer in the entire world, ahead of Burma (Myanmar) and the “Golden Triangle” since 1992, excluding the year 2001. Afghanistan is the main producer of opium in the “Golden Crescent”. Opium production in Afghanistan has been on the rise since U.S. occupation started in 2001. Based on UNODC data, there has been more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004–2007) than in any one year during Taliban rule. Also, more land is now used for opium in Afghanistan than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 92% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This amounts to an export value of about $4 billion, with a quarter being earned by opium farmers and the rest going to district officials, insurgents, warlords, and drug traffickers. In 2007 the United Nations estimated that half of Afghanistan GDP (Gross Domestic Product) came from illegal drugs production in that country.

In the seven years (1994–2000) prior to a Taliban opium ban, the Afghan farmers’ share of gross income from opium was divided among 200,000 families. In addition to opiates, Afghanistan is also the largest producer of hashish in the world.

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