(Photo by Tom Maisey, licensed under Creative Commons on Flickr.)

There are still government-authorized bhang (a derivative of cannabis) shops in India (like the storied shop in Jaisalmer), but fewer people are probably aware that certain states sanction the sale of opium. The Indian Express discusses the politics surrounding Gujarat’s decision to license opium but bar the sale of alcohol.

It’s certainly a different tack than that taken by the U.S. government and its wasteful, ill-conceived War on Drugs. (Link to AEI report, “Are We Losing the War on Drugs? An Analytic Assessment of U.S. Drug Policy.”) Better or worse? Lacking better evidence, it’s tough to say — but it’s hard to imagine we could do worse than we are now.