Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20
By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:
An Iranian official says that issuing coupons for opium distribution is a right solution to the growing drug-related crimes in the country.
Ali Hashemi, who chairs an anti-drugs committee at Iran's State Expediency Council, said Feb. 20 that it was a right measure to issue opium coupons to manage the opium demand in the country, reports the ISNA news agency.
He explained that before the 1979 revolution, Iran, while under the rule of the Pahlavi dynasty, was issuing opium coupons to manage drug consumption, which was a successful practice in terms of reducing drug-related crimes.
After the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic stopped the controlled distribution of opium in the country saying this was against the law and the Sharia, the legal framework regulating public and some private aspects of life based on Islam.
Hashemi further said that annually, drug abuse inflicts a damage of 450 trillion rials (about $14.9 billion on Feb. 20) to Iran's economy.
In 2005 only, the drug abuse caused a damage of $12 billion in the country, he said.
According to media reports, Iranians annually use about 450 tons of opium, which is equal to 42 percent of total opium consumed in the world.
Iranian officials say that the fight against drugs annually costs the country about $1 billion, while about two percent of Iranians abuse drugs.