January 23 2008

IWF Policy Brief #11: Stabilizing Afghanistan: The Case for not Legalizing Poppy Cultivation

Download Brief #11 below.

Executive Summary

Afghanistan's poppy cultivation is not only having a dire impact on its neighbors and the international community, but is currently affecting the lives of several thousand Afghans within the country, particularly women and children.  Although poppy cultivation is a convenient source of income for farmers, the negative repercussions of legalizing poppy cultivation in Afghanistan on the economy, security, and stability would outweigh any positive gains. The Afghan government and international community need to develop a long-term strategy for alternatives to poppy production.  Failure to do so will almost certainly lead Afghan farmers into the hands of the Taliban and ultimately impede the country's progress.

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