Vice President Leni Robredo is suggesting that drug use can be decriminalized to avoid killing of drug addicts and pushers.
Robredo was the guest at a forum in the University of the Philippines in Los Baños when she was challenged by a student to offer an alternative to the government’s deadly drug war, which has left thousands dead since last year.
She said the government should study the best practices by countries that found solutions to the drug menace, and cited Portugal as a “triumphant” example, according to a transcript of the exchange sent by her staff
Robredo did not directly propose following the Portuguese government’s policy of decriminalizing drug use, but noted how the European nation dramatically shifted its focus from looking at drug abuse punitively to treating it as a health issue requiring treatment and reintegration.
She contrasted it with the failed drug campaigns by state forces in Latin America, most of which had focused on violent methods.
“If we only study the drug campaigns around the world, we will see that the countries that used violence in combating drugs never succeeded. Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico —these countries used force, they fought fire with fire. Many lives were lost but they were not successful,” she said in Filipino.
“Who were successful?” she asked the students.
“One of those is Portugal. What did Portugal do? Portugal found a system to combat drugs that was peaceful and orderly. They reformed their laws; they strengthened rehabilitation [of addicts]; they fixed their institutions responsible for rehabilitating.
“They were triumphant,” Robredo said.
Portugal decriminalized personal possession of all drugs in 2001. /Noel Ponce/Disclaimer: Contributed articles does not reflect the view of Okd2.com. This website cannot guarantee the legitimacy of some of the information contributed to us. You may do additional research if you find some information doubtful. No part of this article maybe reproduced without permission from this website.