Via AP's George Gedda: "Global opium cultivation down 22 percent." What? Hasn't the New York Times been peddling the line that Afghanistan has been so chaotic that opium production has been soaring?
Opium poppy cultivation worldwide was down 22 percent in 2005, a United Nations report said Monday, part of a generally favorable, albeit inconclusive, trend in efforts by governments to contain illicit drug production.
The U.N.'s 2006 World Drug Report also found that cocaine use is reaching alarming levels in Western Europe. Consumption of marijuana, the most widely used illicit drug, continued to increase, the study said.
It attributed the decline in opium poppy cultivation to cutbacks in the three main source countries of illicit opium: Afghanistan, Myanmar and Laos. Opium is the main ingredient for heroin. [emphasis added]
"In Afghanistan, in 2005, opium poppy cultivation decreased for the first time since 2001," the report said. Still, it said, that country accounted for 89 percent of opium production worldwide.
Ed Lasky 6 26 06