Catarina CostaHS-112 C.WahlFinal PaperSpring 2015 Worldwide Significance of Opium TradeBased on the past economic and political issues with regards to the worldwideregulation of opium, the control and legalization of opium should be decided within eachindividual country because of the wealth opium trade has brought to many poorer nationsas well as the conflicts that have arisen between countries with opposing views on opiumtrade. In the late 19thcentury, Great Britain as well as many other European nationsviewed opium as a poison and the governments put limitations on the availability ofopium. 1While Great Britain’s government regulating the trade of opium showed thelegislative control of Western Countries during this time, the United States took a muchdifferent approach in regards to the opium trade. The US had a free marketplace,meaning there were no government rules or regulations at the time. While other countrieswere engaging in opium wars, America’s decision to place few restrictions on theimportation, sale and consumption of opium was an attempt to prevent the establishmentof an all-powerful central government, like the ones that were being seen throughoutEurope at the time. In learning from the history of opium and the success of the UnitedStates government in regards to controlling this drug trade, all countries should allowindividual states to make their own rules and regulations.1 David Musto, “The History of Legislative Control Over Opium, Cocaine and Their Derivatives,” DrugText, March 23,2013.
In many countries, opium is a major part of their economy and many poorernations would have no economy without the production and trade of this drug. One ofthese poor nations that has benefited greatly from the opium trade is Afghanistan.