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When The Drug Trade Helps To Fund The Taliban

Looks like we’re their biggest customer. I wonder if empathy is more effective than judgment.

6 min readAug 15, 2021


I’ve had the good fortune to be sober for 29 years now. I’ve also had the good fortune to not get into the heavy stuff. I’ve seen how people turn out after getting into meth, heroin, and cocaine. It’s not pretty. America is far and away, the greatest source of that demand. I was under the impression that capitalism was making people happy. I guess not.

This is something that I don’t really get about America. This is supposed to be the best country in the world and yet, we consume more drugs, legal and illegal, than any other country in the world, capitalist or not. I have heard that drug use at Goldman Sachs was ubiquitous and somewhat legendary. I have also heard that drug use among the well-to-do is quite common. Shouldn’t they be happier?

I also know that the money spent on illegal drugs funds the other side of the drug war. It funds the Mexican drug cartels. And apparently, it funds the Taliban. I don’t think that drug users have factored this dynamic into their decision to use.

I have learned to included that dynamic above in my decision about whether or not to use drugs. I also have built incentives for me not to use drugs, like a subroutine in a computer program. I’ve figured out how to find happiness in other ways. And I’m not so sure that people even know if they’re happy when they’re high.

This relationship between drugs and terrorism should not be overlooked. And right now, the Taliban are quickly seizing territory in Afghanistan as I write this. According to Al Jazeera, the Taliban has asserted control over much of Northern Afghanistan:

The fall on Saturday of Mazar-i-Sharif, the country’s fourth largest city, which Afghan forces and two powerful former warlords had pledged to defend, hands the Taliban control over all of northern Afghanistan, confining the Western-backed government to the centre and east.

When I heard the news that we were finally pulling American forces out of Afghanistan I had anticipated the backlash. I knew Republicans would be critical of Biden’s actions, and they are laying into Biden now. As I read the…