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Canada Urged To Process Afghan Poppies Into Medicine For Third World

By Hempology | February 16, 2007

OTTAWA – Canada should spearhead an international effort to license opium production in Afghanistan for peaceful pharmaceutical uses to combat the country’s chronic economic dependence on the illegal narcotic, deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said Thursday.

Ignatieff endorsed the proposal of the controversial London-based think-tank, the Senlis Council, which has called for a pilot project to study the licensing of the Afghan opium crop — the backbone of the world’s illicit heroin trade and the cornerstone of Afghanistan’s impoverished economy.

The council, which issued a series of scathing reports on the world’s failures in the wartorn country, has argued processing facilities should be set up in Afghanistan to convert the opium from poppies into codeine and morphine to meet a shortage of pain medicines in the developing world.

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