This article from 1998 seems to indicate that the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention struck a 10 year deal with the Taliban to destroy opium poppy crops in exchange for $25 million a year. If this agreement was reached (and from what I’ve read, Afghanistan is cracking down hard on opium poppy farmers), then it’s actually the UN that is putting the drug war ahead of human rights concerns. (I still don’t know whether the US is also paying off the Taliban.)