In shocking news released by CNN and other news networks, controversial Philippines President Jesse Duterte claims that Trump has told him his approach to the war on drugs is the “right way”.
Duterte has long been accused of multiple human rights abuses owing to his violent and often deadly “War on Drugs”. Just to give an idea of how deadly Duterte’s approach is, 51 shooting incidents have resulted in 100 deaths and only three were wounded, presumably because the police weren’t shooting straight.
In any other country in the world, these would be shocking figures. Add to that the fact that at least some of these killings are cannabis-related. Now Trump has apparently told Duterte that his approach is “right”.
Duterte says Medical Marijuana OK but…
Duterte has gone on record saying that he would approve of medical marijuana, but he says the FDA must approve it first. Rationally speaking, it’s extremely unlikely that this will ever happen. For the FDA to approve medical cannabis, it would expect a full examination of every compound in the cannabis plant, and with hundreds of compounds, and no profit motive to investigate them, the process is not only going to be an enormous one, but also one that nobody seems likely to tackle.
Meanwhile, Cannabis is treated just like any other illegal drug in the Philippines, which quite simply means you’re playing Russian Roulette if you use it or distribute it. You could be killed, and presumably, Trump will be cheering Duterte on.
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Very, very scary – that’s if Trump maintains his stance
It is to be hoped that Trump doesn’t really see the huge volume of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines as the “right way” to handle any kind of crime, least of all a non-violent one. However, Duterte is claiming that Trump says it’s the “right way” to go. The only comfort we have here is that Trump often seems to speak off the cuff, saying whatever he thinks will be most acceptable to an audience at the time – before backing down.
There have been many such cases of back-pedalling and reversal, not least in relation to his own campaign promises. “The Wall” has become, at best, a fence. Hillary Clinton won’t be investigated by a “special prosecutor”, and Obamacare might not be so bad after all – at least, not all bad.
It can only be hoped that with a little consideration, and perhaps a few nudges from advisors, Trump will stop endorsing the horrible human rights abuses that have been perpetrated in the Philipines in the name of Duterte’s “War on Drugs”, a war which the US has already fought and lost on its own territory.
Duterte and Trump should study a little history
History, they say, repeats itself, and this has certainly been true when it comes to prohibition of drugs or alcohol. The US has its own bloody history of organized crime taking control of alcohol and drug markets. It has spent billions and billions of dollars on the war on drugs, and what is the result? More people than ever before are addicted to truly harmful drugs like opioids while crime kingpins pocket fortunes.
Of course, it’s possible that Duterte is overstating the case, but if not, Mr. Trump would do well to reconsider his approval of Duterte’s hideous human rights record. If he does not, heaven help us all.