Little Drug Warriors

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Think DARE was a barrel of laughs? Try anti-drug education in Afghanistan. The country's counter-narcotics department is rounding up school kids, plopping them in poppy fields, and giving the order to destroy:

"Even with transportation and lunch, students come a lot cheaper than any other work force," explained Zabiullah Akhtari, a senior government official in charge of poppy eradication in Balkh. "We're going to use students several more times before the end of the poppy season."

Whole thing here.

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  1. |F|O|R|C|E|D|_|L|A|B|O|R|

    My anti-drug.

  2. This is just the latest in a long series of outrages by Big Opium to crowd out the family grower.

  3. So what if the farmers or the armed commanders kill the kids? That’s one less future terrorist, right?

    As an aside, speaking of D.A.R.E., I consider myself one of the luckiest fuckers I know. When I was in highschool, it just so happened that they scheduled my Driver’s Ed Behind-The-Wheel training during the entirety of the D.A.R.E. brainwashing class. I still smile when I think about all the days I’d come back to class after driving around for an hour, and my classmates would all have these grim looks on their faces.

  4. A question: are these poppies different from the poppies that I purchased seeds for at Target last week?

  5. Evan,

    I am surprised that all of your classmates found DARE so awful. I enjoyed it a lot…although our DARE officer gave me the heebie-jeebies, I learned a lot about all sorts of fascinating drugs that I probably wouldn’t have learned about (and planned to try) otherwise.

  6. Not to a piss test they aren’t, Evan.

  7. Not to a piss test they aren’t, Evan.

  8. The poppies in Afghanistan are naughty, foreign poppies. The ones you bought at Target are wholesome, all-American poppies that love horses and their boyfriends too.

  9. Imagine that, slavery cheaper than paid labor. Who would have thunk it.

  10. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this was happening somewhere in the U.S.

  11. JC, slave labor sure. But government officials using school children as slaves as part of an official policy in the US, I highly doubt it.

  12. Seriously—could opium be made from garden-variety (literally) poppy flowers? Call me ignorant, but I’m no illicit narcotics connoisseur.

  13. It’s good to see the USA spreading freedom to the Middle East!

  14. Seriously—could opium be made from garden-variety (literally) poppy flowers? Call me ignorant, but I’m no illicit narcotics connoisseur.

    Evan,

    No, making opium requires Opium Poppies specifically.

  15. “I like destroying poppies,” he said. “It’s fun to be away from the city for a day.”

    Sounds like Ralph Wiggum is in Springfield, Afghanistan.

  16. Do you think they make them work naked like the women who process coca into cocaine?

    Just happened to be thinking about naked women for a second and that question popped into my mind…

  17. Seriously—could opium be made from garden-variety (literally) poppy flowers? Call me ignorant, but I’m no illicit narcotics connoisseur.

    See? That’s what happens when you miss your DARE class.

  18. See? That’s what happens when you miss your DARE class.

    That’s absolutely right, zach. 🙂

  19. I guess this is better than US helicopters raining poison down on the fields.

  20. Some day, one of these Junior Narcs will have the bright idea to save time and light the field on fire….

  21. Seriously—could opium be made from garden-variety (literally) poppy flowers?

    All poppies produce alkaloids (the stuff that gets you high) to some degree, but there are only two varieties of poppy that produce enough of them to make opium production worthwile. Theoretically, if you turned your front yard into Flanders Field and worked at it long enough, you could draw out enough to cook some opium, but it would be a long, arduous process, and you’d get caught long, *long* before you made it to that point, as anyone with two brain cells to rub together would realize that nobody grows a field of poppies because it looks nice. So, technically yes, but speaking realistically no, not really.

  22. DARE to grow what you want on your own land…go ahead Uncle Sam fucking DARES you!

    Um, didn’t we get into this mess over there to introduce the ideals of freedom?

  23. So, uh, Mr. Drug Czar, if they ever find a really big field of the marijuana – that’s how you pronounce it, right? – and you need some volunteers…

  24. Can you imagine a bunch of US high school kids going out to take out a field of canibus? I’m guessing there’d be a whole lot of pocket-stuffing going on there.

    Is that thing about the opium poppies for real? I’m having a tough time finding a reference anywhere for non-opium poppies anywhere. Anyone? Bueller?

  25. as anyone with two brain cells to rub together would realize that nobody grows a field of poppies because it looks nice.

    Actually, when I was younger my dream home always had a vast field of poppies in front precisely for that very reason.

    …and also for the opium part.

  26. I say you go for it smacky. You chase that dragon down! And then invite me over. Y’know, to help with the horticulture.

  27. As far as growing poppies locally goes, read Michael Pollan’s Opium Made Easy.

  28. Is that thing about the opium poppies for real? I’m having a tough time finding a reference anywhere for non-opium poppies anywhere. Anyone? Bueller?

    Here

    Note the sizes of the capsules listed; none of the legal types are above 20 mm, and most are around 10. You can see this demonstrated in your garden, where your poppies will never get the huge capsules under the flowers that you see in the pictures from Afghansitan or elsewhere, since yours aren’t of the same species.

  29. Better school kids do something like this, instead of registering and transporting drug-addled street people to vote.

  30. Better school kids do something like this, instead of registering and transporting drug-addled street people to vote.

  31. and most are around 10 should have read are arouond 15. I really should be working.

  32. Dear Reason,

    Please buy a fucking server. Thank you in advance of your efforts.

    Regards,
    Pete

  33. And, like schoolchildren all over the U.S., they can hardly wait for recess.

  34. US taxpayors should at least be thankful this job is not similar to cleaning up after Katrina in New Orleans. If I recall the network evening news, the uber-contractor with the federal government connections gets $23 per cubic yard of rubbish. The sub- sub- sub-contractor actually doing the clearing gets $3 per cubic yard.

    Speaking of horticulture, you’ve probably heard this one:
    You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

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