Daniel, I’m as critical of Karzai and his recent behavior as anybody, but be careful on this one: Peter Galbraith has a long habit of making false or exaggerated claims in order to put himself in the limelight. Remember that canard that George W. Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shi’a? The lies about Paul Wolfowitz, proven false by phone records? Those started with Galbraith (See the section “It’s All About Me” here). Now that it appears that Peter will take home up to $144 million from his oil speculating in Iraqi Kurdistan, perhaps Karzai would like to ask him to put up or shut up? Celebrity Blowhard Death Match?
That said, the region has many officials who have used/still use opium. This has long been a problem in the Islamic Republic of Iran and has included officials up to the current Supreme Leader, who reportedly quit opium cold turkey upon assuming the position.