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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    File Archive
    A new entry has been added to News Coverage Videos About Drugs

    View attachment 19291 If you've ever been to the emergency room with a broken bone, you may have been given morphine to dull the pain.

    Of course, morphine comes from opium, which comes from poppies, which come from, largely, Afghanistan. But a significant portion of the morphine used by legit pharmaceutical companies comes from the Australian island of Tasmania.

    GlaxoSmithKline, which maintains a large opium growing and processing facility in Port Fairy, Tasmania, is the granddaddy of legal smack. And apparently, Tasmania's economy is highly reliant on the poppy business.

    A study from Australia's Launceston College reads:
    "Most of Tasmania's exports are codeine, thebaine and other opiates. GlaxoKlineSmith exports to Port Fairy poppy straw which is processed to produce norphine, codeine and thebaine.

    "The industry was introduced into Tasmania by Mr. Steven King in the late 1960's for MacFarlan Smith, a subsidiary of Glaxo, now GlaxoSmithKline."

    In fact, this Steven King fellow (no, not this one) is so revered in Tasmania, there's even a monument dedicated to him:

    View attachment 19292 Evidently, "Macfarlan Smith had been doing trial work in the UK aimed at establishing the industry in that country, but finally recognised that the unreliable English summer was not suitable for poppy production. Their researcher, Mr Steven King, examined weather records for several countries and came to Australia with a view to establishing the industry in Victoria. The Victorian government was not interested in the proposal, and Mr King turned his attention to Tasmania, a location which he had previously overlooked due to not having climate data. He found the Tasmanian Department of Agriculture a willing partner in establishing trials, and over several years Tasmania was confirmed as a suitable location for poppy cultivation."

    However, Tasmania has competition--and interestingly, it exists less so thanks to Johnson & Johnson, the other large opium producer in Tasmania, and more so because of the DEA.

    The Sydney Morning Herald writes:

    "Most morphine bought by the US comes from less well-controlled poppy-growing countries such as Turkey and India because of a US Drug Enforcement Administration program aimed at curbing illegal heroin production by buying the crop from local farmers."

    Still, with 95% of its crop exported, Tasmania's poppy production "will be worth more than $30 million at the farm gate this year and several times more than that as pharmaceutical drugs."

    The other 5%? It seems the wallabies have been getting frisky:

    "We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Tasmania's top lawmaker Lara Giddings said in 2009. "Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."

    By Justin Rohrlich
    February 9, 2011

    To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Inside the Tasmanian Opium Industry
    The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.


  1. Enlightenment
    Gotta love the relationship between animals and mother nature.
    If the fellow DFers found the doped up wallabies to be entertaining/interesting, check out Intoxication by Ronald Siegel. He's spent a lot of time observing these kinds of happenings, and has a mountain of experiments to go along with them. This is a little different from his observations, as it is man who makes the substance available.
    And thats a pretty sweet factoid too: Opium poppies grown for export in Afghanistan...and Tasmania.

    Hoorah for wallaby junkies! I'd love to see a picture of their crop circles ha
  2. Spucky
    AW: Inside the Tasmanian Opium Industry

    We need to protect the Tasmanian Wallabie, they dont know what they are doing,
    a Ban, as soon as possible, for the Poppies is needed and strongly advised!

    Save the Animals
  3. Enlightenment
    Re: AW: Inside the Tasmanian Opium Industry

    Can't really disagree with you on that one. It seems if something were done, the farmers would probably be happier, and the animals would be drug-free. Maybe a higher fence? One the wallabies wouldn't be able to hop over? I doubt that Tasmania is going to abolish their surprisingly big industry.
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