The Opium War

Just how much of the Afghan economy depends on the world’s junkies?

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AFGHAN OPIUM PRODUCTION

Afghan Opium Production

Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC)

The Audacity of Dope

Afghan opium production at its peak, in 2007: 18 million pounds

Share of illicit global market: 93%

Share of Afghan GDP: 53%

Estimated export value: $4 billion

Share of population involved in opium trade: more than 12%

Gross farm income per acre of poppies: $2,105; per acre of wheat: $221

Acres of poppy fields eradicated in 2007: 47,046

Acres grown: 476,710

Acres of coca grown in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia (total): 448,743

Share of Afghan opium grown in Helmand Province: 42%

Pounds seized in 2005 from offices of Helmand’s governor: 19,841

Source: UNODC; CRS

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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