Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Drug abuse is a social problem, not only criminal

Drug abuse is a social problem, not only criminal
The Nation

Police scheme to label neighborhoods and communities as 'clean' of drugs could backfire if wider factors such as education, poverty and job opportunities are not considered

Thailand's "war on drugs" is taking an interesting turn that could be aimed at attracting the participation of local communities through initiatives that, to some extent, resemble a blame-and-shame tactic.

Under this scheme, the police would put up a sign in a community designating it as "clean and white", or drug free. But if any one member of the community - who may or may not live there, but is registered at an address in the community - is found guilty on any illicit-drugs charge, then the sign would be removed.

On the surface, it sounds like a good idea - empowering local residents with some degree of incentive to police or look after their own. But given the rigidity of our house-registration system, it would be unfair to hold the entire community responsible for the actions of a convicted or alleged drug-user or dealer who is registered in the community but may not necessarily live there. Read more...

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