“These cultivation farms need special care and to be hidden from the public eye, which can be done in these areas. Therefore, there might be individual attempts to grow narcotic plants, but this cannot be considered a widespread phenomenon,” Habib added.
In the same context, Sabah al-Saadi, a member of parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, told Al-Monitor, “Reports on drug manufacturing in Iraq are hyperbolic, but one can say that this industry is being launched. The number of drug dealers have increased each year after 2003, while the spread of IS in Iraq increases the chances of local production should the consumption of use of drugs remain high. This could encourage smugglers to start manufacturing inside the country.”
In further evidence to Saadi’s statement, the Department of Mental Health in Basra General Hospital called upon the state on Jan. 2 to establish a specialized center for combating drugs, especially with the increased use of crystal meth.
Ignoring the signs and signals that emerge every now and then in Iraq could cause Iraq to become a country producing and exporting drugs, leading to more victims of addiction and rising numbers of drug traffickers. Iskandar Watout, a member of the Security and Defense Committee, told Al-Monitor that he has been calling for the “intelligence apparatus to take action and impose tight measures and apply Iraqi law, banning the cultivation and production of drugs and punishing groups trafficking and using narcotics.”