The Afghan Poppy Blight

About one third of Afghanistan's poppies have been hit by a blight, a virus who's spread was helped along by this spring's higher than normal rainfall and winds. The poppy farmers, who feed their famlies with the money they earn from their plots, know that blights and diseases come and go, that they are a part of nature. But still the blight and loss of opium production will hurt those farmers far harder than farmers of other crops.

There is, i just learned, a two year supply in storage of legal morphine for phamacutical use and a three year supply to fill addicts and users demands. So with such a huge backlog opium prices won't rise as quickly, or as much, as say the price of wheat or bread due to Sask. flooded fields and lowered harvest this coming fall. If the praries grow less wheat each individual farmer's overall income is helped by the higher prices the lower overall supply creates. To bad for our Mujahadeen poppy growing farmers, the worldwide drug cartels are so oversupplied that wholesale prices, at least at the mud hut door level, won't budge.

Outlaw farmers everywhere have similiar problems. Demand for intoxicating drugs continues to climb, supply also continues to grow [pun intended]. The mafia types have siezed control of the milleniums long connection between grower and stoner. The Andian coca culture has existed in peaceful harmony since before time, the neolithic agriculturalists grew marijuana for fun and hemp for fiber, the far easterners have used opium as long. Afghanistan's opium farmers face the same problems as BC's outlaw pot growers, or Peru's cocaleros, the middlemen-the bankers-the cartels-the gangs have turned them all from fun into money.

Criminals want to get rich quick, feel entitled to a free lunch and believe it's around every new corner. Outlaws farmers grow just enough to 'get by and get high', know that 'you reap what you sow', and give thanks for their blessings. The small Afghan farmers will survive the temporary road bump of this blight, they'll survive this latest empire's delusion of military victory. They'll survive the sandstorms and their theiving governments. So will the rest of us.