As a result of
high demand for tea, silk and
porcelain in Britain and the low demand for British commodities in China,
Britain had a large trade deficit with China and had to trade goods for
silver as the Chinese would only
except silver in trade.
Lost during the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople is the specific formula of
an opium-based elixir
ascribed to alchemists of Byzantium.
1522 Paracelsus referes to an opium-based elixir
that he calls laudanum from the Latin word laudare, meaning "to
He describes it as a potent painkiller recommending it be used
United Company of Merchants of
England Trading to the East Indies opens a trading station in Canton
importing opium and tobacco into China.
The British desire silk.
The Chinese will only take silver
bullion in trade for silk.
British silver reserves become depleted.
The British start importing opium
from India and obtain an opium monopoly by 1773 which continued virtually
unchanged until 1947.
By only excepting silver in exchange for opium
British silver reserves are restored.
Rising opium use in China prompts an imperial edict that forbides
the sale of opium for smoking purposes.
British exports of opium to China are an estimated 15
1757 Britain conquers Bengal in
the Battle of Plassey.
British East India Company pursues a monopoly on
production and export of opium in India.
1773 East India Company murders its way into an
opium monopoly in Bengal.
of Bengal pursues a
monopoly on the sale of opium in earnest, and abolishes the old opium syndicate
Opium is the key to
East India Company control for the next 50 years.
As importation of
opium into China is against Chinese law.
British East India
Company abrogates buying tea in Canton on credit, carrying no opium, but
would instead sell opium for silver at the auctions in
Calcutta leaving it to be smuggled
75 tons of opium is shipped in over two thousand "chests",
each containing 140 pounds (64 kg) of opium.
The British crown
chartered British East India Company, is directly responsible for the opium
flood that leads to the Opium Wars in China.
1796 East India Company stops importing opium
directly into China and begins selling in Calcutta to private merchants, who
then deliver the opium to China.
East India Company agency houses such as Jardine, Matheson &
Co and Dent & Co import amounts averaging 900 tons a year.
1804 Morphine, the
first active alkaloid, is extracted from the opium poppy plant in Paderborn,
Germany, by Friedrich Sertürner.
1817 Strychnine alkaloid
1818 French physician
Francois Magendie published a paper describing how morphine brings pain relief
and much-needed sleep to an ailing young girl.
1820 Caffeine alkaloid
1828 Nicotine alkaloid extracted.
1830 East India Company murders its way into an
opium monopoly in Bombay.
the amount of smuggled opium entering China rapidly increasing the Chinese
impose a death penalty for
opium smuggling and send a Special Imperial Commissioner, Lin Zexu, to curb
Opium War begins.
1842 Hong Kong island is ceded to Britain under
the Treaty of Nanking and the Chinese market opened to the opium traders of
Britain and other nations.
1850s First reliable syringes are developed and
injecting morphine becomes a standard procedure during and after
1856 Second Opium War begins.
Fought by Britain and France against
During the second Opium War, Lord
Elgin, the British High Commissioner to China, takes 3,500 British troops to
set the entire Old Summer Palace ablaze.
Treaty of Tientsin
legalised the importation of opium.
Legalisation stimulates domestic
Chinese opium production and increased the importation of opium from Turkey and
1874 Diacetylmorphine, a
white, odourless, bitter,
derived from morphine is compounded by English chemist, CR Wright.
1898 Bayer begins marketing diacetylmorphine as
" Heroin - early testers said
it made them feel heroic.
pneumonia are the
leading causes of death
Fear of pneumonia made routine coughs and colds
Heroin, which both
depresses respiration and, as a
sedative, gives a
restorative night's sleep, seemed a godsend.
There were Heroin
pastilles, Heroin cough lozenges, Heroin tablets, water-soluble Heroin
salts and a Heroin elixir in a glycerine solution.
Heroin - trademarked Bayer medicine
Bayer Promoted Heroin for Children
not hypnotic, and there's
no danger of acquiring a
habit." - Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
1907 American Medical Association gives
Heroin a stamp of
1914 Heroin is
restricted to prescription only use in the US.
"In most cases, the CIA's role involved
various forms of complicity,
ignorance about the trade, not any direct culpability in the actual
The CIA did not handle Heroin, but it did provide
its drug-lord allies with transport, arms, and political protection.
sum, the CIA's role in the Southeast Asian Heroin trade involved indirect
complicity rather than direct culpability." - Alfred W. McCoy
"Our own spy agency is behind the killing of
thousands of American soldiers and civilians all over the world.
are also responsible for continued Afghan opium production, as it has always
served as the primary funding source for CIA paramilitary operations there." -
"Like Afghanistan, South Vietnam at the national
level was a massively corrupt collection of self-interested warlords, many of
them deeply implicated in the profitable opium trade, with almost nonexistent
legitimacy outside the capital city.
The purely military gains achieved
at such terrible cost in our nation's blood and treasure in Vietnam never came
close to exhausting the enemy's manpower pool or his will to fight, and simply
could not be sustained politically by
a venal and
incompetent set of dysfunctional state institutions where
self-interest was the order of
the day." - Peter Dale Scott
1979 The Soviets invade Afghanistan.
1980 Afghanistan produces 200 metric tons of opium.
Throughout the 1980s the CIA working through
Intelligence(ISI), spends $2 billion to support the Afghan mujahideen
Within two years
borderlands became the world's top Heroin producer.
Pakistan, the Heroin addict population goes from
near zero in 1979 to 5,000 in 1981 and to 1.2 million by 1985.
Mujahideen guerrillas territorial control increased more and more farmers
planted opium poppies as cash crops.
Across the border in Pakistan,
Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan's
Inter-Services Intelligence operated hundreds of Heroin laboratories to
generate cash which they used to purchase weapons to fight the Soviets.
helps facilitate distribution, even squelching DEA
Once the Heroin left labs in
Pakistan, the Sicilian mafia managed its export to the US, and a chain of
syndicate-controlled pizza parlors distributed the drugs to street gangs in
Ordinary Americans did not see the links between
the CIA's alliance with Afghan drug lords, the pizza parlors, and the
Heroin on America's streets.
"There are powerful business and
financial interests behind narcotics.
Geopolitical and military control
over the drug routes is as strategic as oil and oil pipelines.
of the revenues associated with the global trade in narcotics are not
appropriated by terrorist groups and warlords.
Narcotics constitute a major source of wealth
formation for national intelligence agencies,
a powerful actor in the spheres of
finance and banking.
Intelligence agencies, powerful business, drug
traders and organized crime are competing for the strategic control over the
A large share of this multi-billion dollar revenues
of narcotics are deposited in the Western banking system.
Most of the large international banks together with their
affiliates in the offshore banking havens launder large amounts of
narco-dollars." - Michel Chossudovsky
The opium trade is denounced immoral by the Taliban and prohibited.
Taliban bank $90 million downpayment on the rights to
an oil pipeline
2001 Launch Operation Enduring
2004 UN estimates Afghanistan produces
87% of the world opium.
2006 Afghanistan produces
6,724 metric tons of opium - more than 30 times as much opium as in 1980 ~
448,000 Afghan families cultivate opium poppies.
UNODC announces a
staggering increase in Afghani opium production of 60% over 2005.
"Opium production has grown exponentially since 2001 as much as 60%
of the country's GDP is either generated by or dependent on it.
as 90% of Afghanistan's police chiefs are reportedly involved in or protecting
the drug trade." - Chris Mason, State Department, Center for Advanced
The Afghan minister of counter narcotics General
Khodaidad Khodaidad claims the majority of drugs are stockpiled in two
provinces controlled by troops from the US, the UK, and
2007 9000 metric tons of opium are
2008 "The White House
says it believes that Ahmed Wali Karzai is involved
in drug trafficking, and American officials have repeatedly warned President
Karzai that his brother is a political liability, two senior Bush
administration officials said in interviews last week." - James Risen, October
2009 It is learned that Ahmed Wali
Karzai has been on the CIA payroll since the invasion.
" Ahmed Wali
Karzai is the biggest drug baron of Afghanistan. What is most disturbing from
my point of view is that the military aircraft, American military aircraft are
also being used." - ISI General Hamid Gul
"When five drug traffickers in military uniforms were
caught transporting Heroin in a police truck in 2007, it was a victory
for a dogged team of Afghan investigators and their US mentors who are waging a
Quixotic battle against narcotics, the nation's largest industry. The men were
prosecuted by a special drug court that the US government has spent tens of
millions of dollars developing as a bulwark against corruption. They were
sentenced to between 16 and 18 years in prison. But in April, Afghan president
Hamid Karzai pardoned the five
men. One was the nephew of a powerful politician managing Karzai's reelection
campaign, and the presidential decree ordering their release notes that they
had ties to a well-respected family, according to a senior Afghan official." -
Farah Stockman July 3, 2009
"The Afghan people are rebelling because the
American government is currently committed to destroying 60% of their economy.
In the name of the "war on drugs," an American
corporation, DynCorp, is
being paid to barge into the fields of some of the poorest people on Earth and
systematically destroy their only livelihood.
A quarter of all Afghan
babies die before their fifth birthday.
If Western governments continue
this program of economic destruction - and the negative propaganda bonanza it
creates - the Taliban may
be sufficiently rejuvenated to march on Kabul.
There is an alternative
to this disastrous spiral.
The Earth is
a shortage of legal opiates.
Organization describes "an unprecedented global pain crisis."
of the Earth's population has almost no access to painkillers at all.
developed countries, for cancer care alone there is an unmet annual need for
550 metric tons more opium to make opium.
Instead of destroying
Afghanistan's most valuable resource, Western governments should buy it
outright and resell it to producers of legal opiate-based painkillers on the
Turkey and India produce opium as legal suppliers of
opiates for pain-control purposes.
Add Afghanistan to the legal opium
producers." - Johann Hari
OxyContin® is oxycodone, an opioid analgesic medication
synthesized from thebaine.
Thebaine (paramorphine) is an opiate
alkaloid. A minor constituent of opium, thebaine is chemically similar to both
morphine and codeine.
"From 1996 to 2001, the number of oxycodone-related deaths nationwide
increased 400% while the annual number of OxyContin® prescriptions
increased nearly 20-fold, according to a report by the United States Drug
Enforcement Administration. In 2002, the DEA said the drug caused 146 deaths
and contributed to another 318." - International Herald
2004 36,000 people make ER visits due
to oxycodone overdoses.
May of 2007 Purdue Pharma
executives plead guilty to charges that they mislead the government about the
risk of addiction to OxyContin®.
oxycodone was less addictive and less subject to abuse.
- president, lawyer, chief
medical officer - agree to pay $634.5 million in fines.
Pharma is taking advantage of patent law to keep OxyContin from
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