The Taliban’s Drug Ban Is Off to a Slow Start

Afghan farmers harvest poppy in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 1, 2022 (AP photo by Abdul Khaliq).
Afghan farmers harvest poppy in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 1, 2022 (AP photo by Abdul Khaliq).

In April, the Taliban announced a blanket ban on drug production and use in Afghanistan. There are a number of potential reasons for the move, which would cause considerable financial pain to many of the group’s core constituencies, as well as to the Taliban itself. But the timing of the announcement suggests that the ban will not go into effect immediately, and even if the Taliban are serious about implementing it, they will face obstacles in doing so. One reason for announcing the ban could be to portray the Taliban as being in a position to control the lucrative opium […]

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