The reason we are in Afghanistan. This is why the troops were sent in, at 2001.
The Opium Supply dropped to 7 hectares. ( from Wikipedia no less)
Of course how long has this trade been going on for? over 150 years, since before 1845, Look up Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Opium wars.
On July 27, 2000, the Taliban again issued a decree banning cultivation. By February 2001, production had been reduced from 12,600 acres (51 km2) to only 17 acres (7 ha). When the Taliban entered North Waziristan in 2003 they immediately banned cultivation and punished those who sold it.Another source claims opium production was cut back by the Taliban not to prevent its use but to increase its price, and thus increase the income of Afghan poppy farmers and tax revenue.The Taliban's top drug official in Nangarhar, Mullah Amir Mohammed Haqqani, said the ban would remain regardless of whether the Taliban received aid or international recognition. "It is our decree that there will be no poppy cultivation. It is banned forever in this country," he said. "Whether we get assistance or not, poppy growing will never be allowed again in our country."
Who buys the Afghani Crop? Someone must buy it,? And they must have a lot of power to influence what goes on
12600 hectares of Opium is sold to one or maybe two people/organisations, and those organisations have a vested interest in keeping that supply.
You can figure out who is behind it, by looking up the references shown about the Opium wars and Lord Palmerston.
The price of opium is related to the price of Gold, See the Hong Kong Market rates for 1977.