A recent BBC news story:
“Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit record levels in 2013 despite counter-narcotics efforts by Washington, a US report says.
The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction said the US had spent $7.6bn (£4.72bn) over 13 years trying to eradicate the plant.
A number of agencies gave to the funds aimed at supporting narcotics officers and helping farmers change livelihoods.
Despite this, Afghanistan grew 209,000 hectares of the plant in 2013.
A UN body says the value of this crop was nearly $3bn (£1.86bn), up 50% from 2012.”
So here’s a thought: instead of spending tons of money on failing to stop cultivation of the opium poppy in Afghanistan, why don’t ‘western’ governments instead buy that same opium crop from the Afghani farmers? The entire crop, every year.