Thursday, September 19, 2019

Amend outdated, destructive drug laws

Aug 16. 2013
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If you look at the drug laws in Thailand, you'll see they're identical to those in the US 20 years ago. However, US drug laws are changing - pot is now legal in two states. Thailand should update its drug laws also. The "war on drugs" has been a losing pr
Recently, the US Attorney General (America’s top law-enforcement officer) strongly recommended that sentencing for lightweight drug offences be eased. The main reason is to save money, because it costs between $22,000 and $34,000 per year to house a prisoner there. Second, an increasing number of citizens are realising drug laws have become too draconian. Often, when drug laws get harsher, they wind up harming society more than if the laws were reasonable. 
Some US states were making their drug laws more fair-minded even before the Attorney General’s recommendation. Tennessee has saved $8 million in the past year by not putting small-time dealers and users in prison. 
Southeast Asian countries, and Thailand in particular, think they’re being righteous by coming down harshly on small-time druggies, but in reality, they’re hurting themselves. Meanwhile many young Thai women are jailed for years (even for life, or await execution) in Vietnam, Hong Kong and other Asian prisons. Their offence amounts to one stupid mistake – being duped into agreeing to transport drugs. 
Ken Albertsen
Chiang Rai

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