Press Release - Drug laws encouraged Afghanistan's downfall, says Independent Candidate for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

Press Release - Drug laws encouraged Afghanistan's downfall, says Independent Candidate for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
Posted on August 31, 2021 | Stefan Klietsch | Written on August 31, 2021
Letter type:
Many Canadians and residents of Renfrew County have been dismayed by the victory of the terrorist-designated Taliban over the Afghan government whom Canadian soldiers had died to protect.  The global community was astonished when the Afghan army of 300,000 soldiers quickly surrendered to a Taliban army of 75,000 fighters after the pull-out of American troops.  
"There are lessons to be learned for Canadian public policy from this tragedy", stated Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Independent Candidate Stefan Klietsch.  "One lesson actually concerns drug law policy."
Afghanistan observers have noted that while the Afghan army's soldiers significantly outnumbered Taliban fighters, Taliban fighters were better paid than government soldiers.
"How did the Taliban pay their soldiers better than the Afghan government?  By marketing Afghanistan's vast opium supplies", Mr. Klietsch explained.  "Anywhere in the world where recreational drugs are criminalized by the government, the drugs do not disappear from the earth but instead become monopolized by the most brutal of gangsters.  In Afghanistan, those gangsters would be the medieval Taliban."
"Imagine how different Afghanistan would be today, if when the Taliban were removed from power the international community had encouraged regulation and taxation of Afghan opium by the Afghan government, instead of pushing the Afghan government towards criminalization of opium.  Revenue from the opium trade would be supporting the same Afghan government that Canadian soldiers died to protect, rather than funding the Taliban whom Canadian soldiers died fighting."
"The downfall of Afghanistan is a reminder of the grievous harms caused by drug criminalization here in Canada, even if our country's own gangs are less infamous than the Taliban.  The lesson is clear: we should not prolong the harms of drug criminalization here in Canada, and we should certainly not encourage the devastation of drug criminalization in other countries."
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About The Author

Stefan Klietsch's picture

Stefan Klietsch grew up in the Ottawa Valley outside the town of Renfrew.  He later studied Political Science at the University of Ottawa, with a Minor in Religious Studies.  He was the 2015 Green Party of Canada... More