At over 50 years running, the Drug War’s stamina in the face of prolonged failure makes Rocky Balboa look like a quitter. As a country we’ve done everything we could think of to resolve it, ranging from largely ineffective jail sentences and harsh policing strategies to… yeah that’s pretty much been the name of the game.
Donald Trump, innovative genius that he is, has a solution to our generational problem — the death penalty.
You heard it here folks. Tim Allen? Should be dead. Kid Rock? Dead. Idris Elba? Dead. All three of them, among many others, are a few examples of folks that dealt drugs that could have been killed if more people shared Trump’s view. And it’s not just them. That soccer mom you know that knows a guy that no one expects? Hell, a couple of the kids you went to law school with. You get my point. I could also go in on the staggered applause at about 1:10 that almost turned into a please clap, but I’ll address him on the merits of his claims.
First, this is a bold advocacy for violating international law. Second, he’s just wrong. Take Indonesia. Last year they imposed 89 death sentences for drug dealing. You’d think that would prevent it from being one of the largest drug markets in Asia, but you’d be wrong. And really, that’s the standard for determining if there is a drug problem in a foreign country? Just ask their leader and take whatever their response is as the gospel truth? China has a history of either refusing to give accurate data or information altogether when asked for it. Why wouldn’t they lie about drug usage? And even if China were honest, data suggests that they would be the lone anomaly:
There is no evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to the drug trade – in fact, according to available estimates, drug markets continue to thrive around the world, despite drug laws in almost every country being grounded in a punitive approach.
I’d like to think that somebody ran this information by Trump before he keeps parroting the same talking points, but it looks like it was to no avail.
Here’s him in 2020:
He was as wrong then as he was now. Here’s an article stating that the drug problem in Indonesia worsened despite hanging drug dealers. I wish the Fake News guy relied less on fabrications when he speaks at the pulpit. The truth is that the Drug War outranks Vietnam when it comes to this country having its ass handed to it. Rather than killing people or conspiring that Biden smuggled in fentanyl to kill Trump voters, we should cut our losses and focus on what actually works — education, harm reduction and the amelioration of circumstances that incentivize people to sell drugs like poverty and a dearth of legal job prospects. Sentencing a 34 year old dude with kids to life in prison is a damned shame. Killing him would not have faired any better.
“Drug prohibition and the criminalization of people who sell or distribute drugs does not reduce the harms of drug use or improve public safety. Our current approach is built on a foundation of stigma, ignorance and fear rather than evidence, and creates new problems while doing nothing to solve those that already exist.” – Drugpolicy.org
We’d be better off treating the War on Drugs like the public health crisis it is. Unfortunately, everything looks like a target when the NRA is damned near handing out guns.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.