‘Drug Free’ ASEAN by 2015?
The Diplomat - There is a growing consensus within the region that the war on drugs has failed.
Even in Myanmar, the world’s second largest producer of opium, senior drug officials are starting to listen to civil society, according to Tom Kramer the Burmese specialist for the Trans National Institute (TNI), which runs a drugs and development program in Southeast Asia and in Latin America.
According to Kramer, “Poor farmers from the Shan state have told drug officials that poverty is the main driver of opium cultivation.” The TNI analyst added, “You cannot get rid of opium until you can provide sound economic alternatives such as crop substitution.” TNI advocates an end to all poppy eradication, arguing that it is counter-productive, only drives the farmers into more remote areas, and robs communities of a traditional and valuable source of medicine.
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