The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia

Introduction: The Consequences of Complicity

1. U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics, Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs for the Year Ending December 31, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), p. 45.

2. Statement of John E. Ingersoll, Director, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, before the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, New York City, February 24, 1972, p. 5.

3. The New York Times, July 23, 1971, p. 1.

4. The New York Times, May 16, 1971, p. 1.

5.Newsweek, July 5, 1971, p. 28.

6. Max Singer, Project Leader, Policy Concerning Drug Abuse in New York State (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.: The Hudson Institute, May 31, 1970) 1:61.

7. J. M. Scott, The White Poppy (London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1969), pp. 8485, 112.

8. United Nations, Department of Social Affairs, Bulletin on Narcotics 5, no. 2 (April-June 1953), 3-4, 6.

9. It appears that modern-day heroin chemists in Southeast Asia may still be imitating the original Bayer product. Much of the heroin shipped to Asia in the early decades of the twentieth century bore the Lion and Globe trademark of the Bayer company. The Double U-0 Globe brand label so popular today in Laos bears a striking resemblance to the original Bayer label.

10. This Bayer advertisement originally appeared in a 1900 edition of Medical Mirror, an American medical journal.

11. United Nations, Department of Social Affairs, Bulletin on Narcotics, pp. 3-4, 6.

12. Ibid., p. 19.

13. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Government Operations, Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics, 88th Cong., Ist and 2nd sess., 1964, pt. 4, p. 771.

14. United Nations, Department of Social Affairs, Bulletin on Narcotics, p. 7.

15. Ibid., p. 26.

16. Ibid., pp. 11-12.

17. Ibid., p. 10.

18. Ibid., p. 8; U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics, "History of Narcotic Addiction in the United States," in Senate Committee on Government Operations, Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Nar. cotics, 88th Cong., Ist and 2nd sess., 1964, pt. 3, p. 771.

19. U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, "The World Opium Situation," October 1970, p. 10.

20. Ibid.

21. In 1969 Iran resumed legal pharmaceutical production of opium after thirteen years of prohibition. It is not yet known how much of Iran's legitimate production is being diverted to illicit channels. However, her strict narcotics laws (execution by firing squad for convicted traffickers) have discouraged the illicit opium traffic and prevented any of Iran's production from entering the international market. (John Hughes, The Junk Merchants [Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Company, 19711 pp. 17-20; U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Relations, International Aspects of the Narcotics Problem, 92nd Cong., I st sess., 197 1, p. 74.)

22. Report of the United Nations Survey Team on the Economic and Social Needs of the Opium Producing Areas in Thailand (Bangkok: Government Printing Office, 1967), pp. 59, 64, 68; The New York Times, September 17, 1968, p. 45; ibid., June 6, 1971, p. 2. Estimates for illicit opium production made by the U.N. and the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics vary widely and fluctuate from year to year as conditions in the opiumproducing nations change and statistical data improve. In general, U.S. Bureau of Narcotics estimates have tended to underestimate the scope of illicit production in Southeast Asia, while the U.N. has tended to minimize production in South Asia, The statistics used above are compiled from both U.N. and U.S. Bureau of Narcotics figures in an attempt to correct both imbalances. However, even if we accept the Bureau's maximum figures for 1968 and 1971, the differences are not that substantial: India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (South Asia) have a combined illicit production of 525 tons, or 29 percent of the world's total illicit supply; Burma (1,000 tons), Thailand (150 tons), and Laos (35 tons) have a combined production of 1,185 tons, or roughly 66 percent of the world's illicit supply; and Turkey accounts for 100 illicit tons, or about 5 percent of the world supply. (U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, "The World Opium Situation," p. 10; U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1972, 92nd Cong., Ist sess., 1971, pp. 578-584.

23. Alvin Moscow, Merchants of Heroin (New York: The Dial Press, 1968), pp. 6163.

24. "The Illicit Manufacture of Diacetylmorphine Hydrochloride (No. 4 Grade)," Paper of a Hong Kong government chemist, n.d., pp. 1-5.

25.Singer, Policy Concerning Drug Abuse in New York State, pp. 46-49.