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.
1453 Lost during the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople is the
specific formula of an opium-based elixir ascribed to alchemists of
1522 Paracelsus referes to an opium-based
elixir that he calls laudanum from the Latin word laudare,
meaning "to praise".
He describes it as a potent painkiller
recommending it be used sparingly.
1715United Company of Merchants
of England Trading to the East Indies opens a trading station in Canton
importing opium and tobacco into China.
The British want 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.
opium use in China prompts an imperial edict that forbides the sale of opium
for smoking purposes.
1730 British exports of
opium to China are an estimated 15 tons.
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
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 to China.
75 tons of opium is shipped in over two thousand
"chests", each containing 140 pounds (64 kg) of opium.
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.
1799 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
1838 With 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
1839 First Opium War
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
Fought by Britain and France against China.
1860 Treaty of Tientsin legalised the importation of
Legalisation stimulates domestic Chinese opium production and
increased the importation of opium from Turkey and
1874 Diacetylmorphine, a white,
odourless, bitter, crystalline powder
derived from morphine is compounded by English chemist, CR Wright.
Bayer begins marketing diacetylmorphine as Heroin -
early testers said it made them feel
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,
tablets, water-soluble Heroin salts and a Heroin elixir in a
Heroin - trademarked Bayer medicine
Bayer Promoted Heroin for Children
1900 "It's not hypnotic,
and there's no danger of
acquiring a habit."
- Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
American Medical Association gives
stamp of approval.
1914 Heroin is
restricted to prescription only use in the US.
"In most cases, the CIA's role involved various
forms of complicity, tolerance or studied ignorance about the trade, not any
direct culpability in the actual trafficking.
The CIA did not handle
Heroin, but it did provide its drug-lord allies with transport, arms, and
In 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
1980s the CIA working through Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence(ISI),
spends $2 billion to support the Mujahideen Afghan résistance.
Within two years
Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world's top Heroin
In Pakistan, the Heroin
addict population goes
from near zero in 1979 to 5,000 in 1981 and to 1.2 million by 1985.
the 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.
The CIA helps
facilitate distribution, even squelching DEA investigations.
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 American cities.
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
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 Heroin
A large share of this multi-billion dollar revenues of narcotics
are deposited in the Western banking system.
the large international banks together with their affiliates in the offshore
banking havens launder large amounts of narco-dollars." - Michel
The opium trade is
denounced immoral by the Taliban
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
9000 metric tons of opium are grown.
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 4, 2008
2009 It is
learned that Ahmed Wali Karzai has been on the CIA payroll since the invasion.
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
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,
"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
"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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