10/06/2016
This so-called war

I don't know if I'm qualified, or what passes for "qualified" these days, but I have a few thoughts, if you may.

Yes, illegal drugs is a big issue in the country.

Yes, these things can kill you, as we've seen over and over.

Yes, it does not just affect the user, but it affects his loved ones as well. It puts a lot of questions in their head. Why did you do this? What have we done wrong? Did we not love you enough?

Yes, scrupulous people have taken advantage of these people for their benefit. These people have pulled at many strings and called on many favors so they can enrich themselves, maintain their place in the world, whatever that is they want to hold on to. They hold the power to include and exclude, to ostracize and integrate. They provide veneers of escape and camaraderie.

Yes, perhaps you're right that it's time we get serious about solving this problem. Our previous efforts may have not gone far enough, as people still fall into the trap, so to speak. Perhaps we have spent so long going after low-hanging fruit while turning a blind eye, or perhaps outright protecting, those further up the chain.

However, I believe that we have not thought this through fully.

I believe we have gone straight into this so-called war without a plan. We have an idea where we want to go. We have a few basics. But we have not devised a plan. It's clear many people are on your side, even those drug users you have continuously vilified as hopeless cases. I believe most of them did not surrender out of fear, but out of hope, that they can get out of this trap they've fallen into.

I believe we should see drug users not as burdens to be eliminated at the soonest possible opportunity. There's a reason why their loved ones have questions in their head, and not thoughts of extermination. Why did you do this? What have we done wrong? Did we not love you enough? They want to understand. They want to help. They know they cannot do it alone. They have come to see that their options are limited; that rehabilitation facilities can be inaccessible; that there is no nationally-agreed framework on how this should all be done.

I believe we're all just shooting at the hip on this so-called war. I believe we're doing what we're doing just so we can prove - just so we can believe, no matter what the reality is - that change is indeed coming, that we can walk our streets safely, that our country can only go up from here. I believe this is why we have decided to just do whatever we believe would solve our problems quickest, to hell with what everybody else believes.

I believe everybody has a story to tell, whether they have used drugs, to know someone who has used drugs, or are just an observer from the comforts of their touch screens.

I believe all these stories are valid, and we all have to talk about this problem, to set out a plan that would benefit everyone, rather than cast one group as the victors and another as the vanquished.

I believe your passion in eradicating drugs from this country is not just a political ploy to get points, to solidify your support, to prove you have a mandate. I believe you have a story, and I believe it is valid. I cannot, however, accept that you choose to fight this war by sweeping off the detritus rather than aiming for the roots, that you'd rather fight this war by flogging your suspects in a public arena.

Why, then, is your way the only way?

And your responses...

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