UPDATE: President Donald Trump’s admiration for the tyrannical Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has translated into policy as he has officially announced his new plan to fight the opioid crisis.
According to Time magazine, the president gave a speech in New Hampshire during which he unveiled a plan to apply the death penalty to drug dealers as a means to keep opioids from spreading.
While he blamed the opioid crisis partially on immigrants during his speech, Trump praised countries that are passing tough and zero-tolerance laws to curb drug use. And it's by modeling his policy on these countries that the plan will not only make use of the death penalty when appropriate under the law, but it will also push law enforcement to work harder on enforcing existing drug laws.
If Trump’s plan materializes, then the administration would also call for the broad use of mandatory minimum sentences, even for people caught with lower levels of opioids.
Time added that Trump's plan will also call for more campaigns to raise awareness, as well as the expansion of programs that offer both treatment and support for those in recovery from opioid use.
According to White House officials, the president also hopes to work with regulators so that the demand for opioids will decrease over time.
Despite the president’s reliance on the death penalty as a means to create incentives to keep people from selling opioids illegally, it’s clear that Trump’s plan is no different than what others have done before him. As a matter of fact, adding even tougher penalties for drug dealers means that the new plan is worse than anything his predecessors have ever tried. As such, he's destined to fail.
With the tough-on-crime approach to drug-related offenses, all we have seen happen over the years is an increase in the number of drug addicts and abuse. It was only when states started passing marijuana legalization laws that we saw some of the consequences of the drug war dissipate over time.
As Duterte's horrific anti-drug policies lead to more human rights abuses with the people of the Philippines living in fear of being targeted by government-backed militias, it's incredible to think that Trump may look up to him as an example to follow.
Now that the country is going through an unprecedented opioid crisis, the fact the president is just ramping up the war on drugs to fight it is yet another indicator that he isn’t serious about public safety. After all, the tougher we are on drug dealers and drug users, the more crime and violence we end up producing as a result.
President Donald Trump has an idea on how to combat drug dealers in the country — kill them all, according to a report by Axios.
The president, it seems, has been talking to his close cronies about his desire to execute all drug dealers for a long time. According to multiple sources, Trump is very passionate about the issue and often compares drug dealers to serial killers. He also suggests the death penalty for them — and according to officials in the White House, he is pretty serious about his proclamations.
In his typical draconian style, Trump has also said softer approach to gun reforms — which involves rehabilitating drug dealers or giving them lenient sentences — does not work and they need to strike fear in the hearts of drug dealers. He also advises his officials to tell their children they will die if they take drugs.
However, Trump knows such extreme measures do not have chance of passing into law in America. The president’s inspiration comes from countries like Asia, where several countries dole out capital punishment for drug dealing.
In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for the offense. The country’s Misuse of Drugs Act states any person caught with large amounts of drugs is automatically presumed to be drug trafficking. That means anyone with 1,200 grams of opium, 500 grams of marijuana, 30 grams of cocaine and 15 grams of heroine is subjected to the death penalty.
Trump believes the country’s harsh law is the reason they it has such low drug usage rate.
“[Trump] says, ‘When I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem [the prime minister replies,] "No. Death penalty,’” a source, who reportedly discussed the issue with Trump, told Axios.
In Duterte, over 12,000 people have been killed in less than two years, ever since President Rodrgio Duterte started his drug wars, according to the Human Rights Watch. The Philippines president has vowed to bring capital punishment back to the Philippines and gleefully said he would love to “slaughter drug addicts.” He also advocates to his citizens to go ahead and kill drug addicts.
In November, during his visit to Asia, Trump was criticized for not commenting on the hundreds of extrajudicial killings and for praising Duterte for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem,” in the Philippines.
When Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Trump, was asked about the alarming statements, she said the president was only focusing on high volume drug traffickers, especially those who deal in fentanyl.
“The president makes a distinction between those that are languishing in prison for low-level drug offenses and the kingpins hauling thousands of lethal doses of fentanyl into communities, that are responsible for many casualties in a single weekend,” she said, according to Axios.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters/Mike Theiler