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Paradigm shift in the drug war

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Paradigm shift in the drug war

05:02 AM October 17, 2017

While acknowledging the seriousness of our country’s drug problem, I maintain with cogency that the bloody domestic war on drugs is not the only solution. There are other viable alternatives available, in fact, more humane than killing thousands of alleged drug users and pushers. A paradigm shift is required away from the purported extrajudicial killings or drug-related violence, and the direction should be toward treatment and prevention.

As a suggestion, why not focus on supply and demand? Demand creates its own supply. This means that if there’s demand for drugs, there’s supply.

The national government’s drug policies and strategies are more motivated by political interest and convenience rather than an understanding of the complexity of demand and supply of drugs. Drug kingpins probably made use of the demand and supply theory before conducting their business. To know where the “demand” is, they have to have their demographic targets, determine who are their prospective clients, and keep a databank of their economic status, and education, among others.

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The fact of the matter, in my view, is that the government is an “unwilling” partner of drug lords in creating demand for drugs. Its failure to create job opportunities for the unemployed may create more potential drug users and pushers. If people are unemployed, they will be enticed to engage in drug business as pushers or users because the siren call of profits from the illegal drug trade is alluring.

If the government promises treatment for drug dependents, rather than incarceration or “death penalty,” they would be encouraged to yield and turn over a new leaf because that would give them hope. The government should establish drug rehabilitation centers in areas where there are drug dependents.

No amount of heavy-handed action like killing drug dependents will solve the problem. We may as well look at alternatives as suggested. Remember, as long as there is demand for illicit drugs, someone will provide the supply.

REGINALD B. TAMAYO
Marikina City
Asst. City Council Secretary
CP No. 09365037140
Tel. No. 6473121

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TAGS: drug killings, extrajudicial killings, Inquirer letters, Reginald B. Tamayo, war on drugs
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