Poppies for Medicine in Afghanistan: Lessons from India and Turkey

Article


Windle, J. 2011. Poppies for Medicine in Afghanistan: Lessons from India and Turkey. Journal of Asian and African Studies. 46 (6), pp. 663-677.
AuthorsWindle, J.
Abstract

This study examines India and Turkey as case studies relevant to the Senlis Council’s ‘poppies for medicine’ proposal. The proposal is that Afghan farmers are licensed to produce opium for medical and scientific purposes. Here it is posited that the Senlis proposal neglects at least three key lessons from the Turkish and Indian experiences. First, not enough weight has been given to diversion from licit markets, as experienced in India. Second, both India and Turkey had significantly more efficient state institutions with authority over the licensed growing areas. Third, the proposal appears to overlook the fact that Turkey’s successful transition was largely due to the use of the poppy straw method of opium production. It is concluded that, while innovative and creative policy proposals such as that of the Senlis proposal are required if Afghanistan is to move beyond its present problems, ‘poppies for medicine’ does not withstand evidence-based scrutiny.

KeywordsOpium; Diversion; Poppies for medicine; Senlis Council; Afghanistan; Turkey; India
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Journal citation46 (6), pp. 663-677
Year2011
PublisherSAGE
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://jas.sagepub.com/content/46/6/663.short
Publication dates
Print2011
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Jan 2014
Copyright informationOnce the article has been accepted for publication, you may post the accepted version (version 2) of the article on your own personal website, your department’s website or the repository of your institution without any restrictions. You may not post the accepted version (version 2) of the article in any repository other than those listed above (i.e. you may not deposit in the repository of another institution or a subject repository) until 12 months after first publication of the article in the journal. http://www.sagepub.com/publishing-oa.sp
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