President Trump wants us ‘to get really, really tough, really mean with the drug pushers’

*In November 2017, the Philippine President Duerte said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited, upon the orders of the commander-in-chief of the United States,” Duterte said later, according to the ABS-CBN news channel.  One of the song’s verses, translated from Filipino, begins: “You are the light in my world, a half of this heart of mine”.

In a stark contrast to Duterte’s bloody anti-drug campaign [and the current president’s apparent desire to “double-down” on failed drug war policy], one country has shown that the way to win the drug war is to end it.  Portugal has decriminalized all drug use and focuses instead on treatment. The annual rate drug of overdose deaths in Portugal is now 1 per 170,000 citizens. The figure is 33 times higher in the U.S., at 1 per 5,100 Americans.  

What might the president mean by getting really tough on drug pushers? One clue might be his phone call to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte last April. “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” [he] said. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.” … Duterte is indeed doing an “unbelievable job,” according to Human Rights Watch. The group estimates that that Duterte’s drug war has killed more than 12,000 drug suspects so far … [In the United States] “The government has contributed to [opioid] deaths in several ways. It created a black market in which drug users do not know what they are getting, encouraged traffickers to move toward increasingly compact and potent products (such as fentanyl), and reduced access to less dangerous alternatives (such as prescription painkillers).”

Original Article (Reason Magazine):
Trump wants us ‘to get really, really tough, really mean with the drug pushers’
Artwork Fair Use: Public Domain




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