Tony Blair Considering Abandoning Bush on Drug War

Tony Blair might have been suckered into joining Bush’s misleadingly named War on Terrorism, but he is now considering getting Great Britain out of the war on drugs. The Independent reports that Blair is considering legalization of poppy crops:

The US wants to step up eradication programmes, crop-spraying from the air. But, desperate to win “hearts and minds” in Afghanistan and protect British troops, Tony Blair is on the brink of a U-turn that will set him on a collision course with President George Bush.

The Prime Minister has ordered a review of his counter-narcotics strategy – including the possibility of legalising some poppy production – after an extraordinary meeting with a Tory MP on Wednesday, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. Tobias Ellwood, a backbencher elected less than two years ago, has apparently succeeded where ministers and officials have failed in leading Mr Blair to consider a hugely significant switch in policy.

Supporters of the measure say it would not only curb an illegal drugs trade which supplies 80 per cent of the heroin on Britain’s streets, but would hit the Taliban insurgency and help save the lives of British troops. Much of the legally produced drug could be used to alleviate a shortage of opiates for medicinal use in Britain and beyond, they say.

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