Photo Credit: Dorian Jones
A monument to the Opium poppy, in the regional capital Afyon, meaning opium in Turkish

Legal Opium
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Afghanistan produces more illegal opium than any country in the world. U.S. troops have tried to curtail production on the poppy farms, but with little success. Thirty years ago, Turkey was also a major source of opium – and much of the heroin on western streets came from there. But Turkey now grows poppies under strict controls. The opium is purchased by the government and then sold to pharmaceutical firms to make into medicines such as codeine and morphine. Poppy farmers are happy and so are government officials. Dorian Jones explores whether Turkey’s experience could be a model for reforming Afghanistan’s opium trade.
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