By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the UN General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Rarely acknowledged, (“legal”) drug trafficking was initiated by the British Empire. There is continuity. The colonial label has been scrapped. Today the (“illicit”) drug trade is a multibillion dollar operation.
The two main hubs of production today are:
- Afghanistan which produces approximately 90% of the World supply of opium (transformed into heroin and opioid related products). There was a successful drug eradication programme in 2000-2001 which was initiated (with UN support). prior to the US-NATO led invasion in October 2001. Since the invasion and military occupation, according to UNODC, the production of opium has increased 50 fold, reaching 9000 metric tons in 2017.
- The Andean region of South America (Colombia, Peru, Bolivia) which produces cocaine. Colombia is a US supported narco-state.
The Drug Economy is an integral part of Empire Building. Drug trafficking is protected by the US military and intelligence apparatus.
(This will be the object of several Global Research articles which will be published in the next few days in support of the June 26, 2020 UN sponsored “global observance to raise awareness”).
The Role of the British Empire
Historically, drug trafficking was an integral part of British colonialism. It was “legal”.
Opium produced in Bengal by the British East India Company (BEIC) was shipped to China’s Southern port of Canton.
The state-sponsored export of opium from British India to China was arguably the largest and most enduring drug operation in history. At its peak in the mid-19th century it accounted for roughly 15% of total colonial revenue in India and 31% of India’s exports. To supply this trade the East India Company (EIC) – and later the British Government – developed a highly regulated cultivation system in which over one million farmers a year were under contract to grow opium poppies. …
The agency system ensured that farmers did not share in the large profits of the opium trade.