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Addiction on The Failing Drug Policy Strategy

War comes with consequences and implications. The government of Indonesia believes that we are now in a state of war; namely war on drugs. This jargon, the war on drugs, is often used to increase society’s negative sentiment against drugs and its users. One of the most important tools in this war is policy. Since the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, called for the war on drugs in his early presidency, law enforcement agencies have intensified two types of responses in this war, namely criminalization and death penalty. Unfortunately, none of these responses has brought significant improvement of the situation.

With years of experiences in assisting drug offenders and drug reform advocacy, LBH Masyarakat believes that the war on drugs is obsolete. The same responses have been carried out by many countries to fight against drugs, but to no avail.

Apart from policies, the current war on drugs is also equipped with propaganda. This propaganda is easily accessible through online media. In 2016, LBH Masyarakat monitored and documented news from online media on two issues related to drugs. The first issue is on large-scale drug bust, whereas the second one is on drug dealing in or from prison setting. We select these issues because we believe that they may show the level of effectiveness of the two responses that the government undertook, as well as other interesting elements that are involved in the law enforcement efforts.

We hope that the result of this monitoring and documentation can enhance the dialogue processes towards drug policy reform. Indeed, illicit drug trafficking needs to be effectively tackled. However, the means and strategy to do that must be based on and respect the principles of human rights, as well as evidence.

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