No Blowing Smoke: Poppies Fade in Southeast Asia - New York Times, September 16, 2007
...Three decades ago, the northernmost reaches of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar produced more than 70 percent of all the opium sold worldwide, most of which was refined into heroin. Today the area produces about 5 percent of the world total, says Mr. Costa’s agency.
Economic pressure from China, crackdowns on opium farmers , and a switch by criminal syndicates to methamphetamine production, appear to have had the biggest impact. At the same time, some insurgent groups that once were financed with drug money now say they are urging farmers to eradicate their poppy fields...
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