Discuss The Influence Of Global Relations On The Production And Distribution Of Legal And Illegal Opiates.

1049 words - 5 pages

Over the year’s global relations have had many influences over the production and distribution of legal and illegal opiates. In the film ‘Production and Distribution’ (The Open University, 2009) we see how the rise of the British Empire in the nineteenth century was a catalyst for the rise of the trafficking and production of opiates across Asia and the middle east. The film also raises many moral and questions on how the legal system has come to work on the issue of the production and distribution of opiates.
As far back as the nineteenth century global relations played a key role in the legal and illegal distribution of opiates. With the emergence and dominance of the British Empire in this period free trade between countries became more common and China became a key supplier of the Britain’s new obsession, tea. Britain began to see financial disadvantages in its trading with China as in return for supplying Britain with tea China wanted Silver which was ‘…depleting the British Exchequer’ (The Open University, 2009). To curb the use of Silver, Britain began to use opium from its plantations and legal protection of opiates in India in trade for the tea. At this point this is an example of legal distribution of opium from Britain to China, opium was already established after being introduced to China by the Portuguese in the seventeenth century and was used by a lot the population. The Emperor in China began to see a wave of addiction through his subjects and a trade deficit so the Emperor began prohibition on the use of opium regarding it ‘…as something that he regarded as a foreign poison’ (The Open University, 2009). At this point global relations changed between the two countries which resulted in a war resulting in China being forced into free trade controls where Britain could freely trade in China’s ports without hindrance. It is apparent that the British were using an addictive substance, opium to supply its citizens with another addictive substance, tea albeit different in its strength there is an argument here on a moral ground that the emergence of global relations with countries such as Britain and China saw a rise in the addiction of substances. The trading of opium after China’s defeat saw production of opiates branch out to countries such as Pakistan, Iran, most of Asia and most importantly Afghanistan which Tony Blair, former Prime Minister stated accounted for ‘…90 per cent of the heroin on British streets’ (The Open University, 2009). It is feasible that the British Empire planted the seed for opium distribution and production throughout Asia and these events also raise the fact that war can change whether something is legal or illegal and raises and that the addiction of opiates soared whether it was illegal or legal.
The collapse of Communism in the early 1990’s saw borders open across Europe and the eastern world leading to wave of the illegal trafficking of opiates. . In the film it is argued that ‘…with unemployment on...

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