To make America great again, Donald Trump announced on Monday that he will be moving forward with his plan to execute people for selling drugs. Without any critical thought or scientific approach, the president completely ignored all the data and instead opted for the police state as a solution to the current opioid epidemic currently ravaging the nation.
“We can have all the blue-ribbon committees we want, but if we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time. Just remember that. We’re wasting our time. And that toughness includes the death penalty,” Trump exclaimed before he was met with applause.
Sadly, the Free Thought Project predicted this scenario and its subsequent support. The same people who argue for our right to self-defense somehow conduct mental gymnastics to justify killing a person for conducting a voluntary transaction.
“This is about winning a very, very tough problem. And if we don’t get very tough on these dealers, it’s not going to happen, folks. It’s not going to happen. And I want to win this battle," said Trump. "I don’t want to leave at the end of seven years and have this problem. Okay? I don’t want that.”
This is not the first time Trump has advocated such insanity. As TFTP reported last year, Trump had a “very friendly conversation” with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has repeatedly bragged about his ongoing campaign of summarily executing people who use and sell drugs in the Philippines. Following that conversation, Trump invited Duterte to the Oval Office.
When Trump approves the extrajudicial execution of drug dealers and users in the Philippines, it should come as no surprise that he calls for it domestically as well. Not surprisingly, like most of the decisions he's made while in office, Trump's call for the death penalty is a 180-degree flip-flop from his former position on the matter.
Trump's new policy completely ignores all the data which shows that decriminalization of drugs—not government violence—is the solution to the drug war.
As Rachel Blevins pointed out yesterday, the idea that a ban on guns would prevent all mass shootings is the same as the idea that a ban on drugs would prevent all future drug use. Citizens are not robots, and just because the government deems something “illegal” does not ensure that every individual will comply with the new laws. In fact, the ones who do comply and give up the guns they were using to protect their homes are often the ones who experience the most harm when the ones who do not comply come to rob them.
All Trump had to do was look at the state he considers his good friends in Saudi Arabia to see how ineffective killing people over drugs is.
As Drugabuse.com notes, the sale of drugs in Saudi Arabia almost always results in the death penalty. Saudi Arabia and judicial authorities are not inclined to make exceptions. Alcohol use is illegal in Saudi Arabia, and possession or use of alcohol or drugs can be punished by public flogging, fines, lengthy imprisonment, or death.
In spite of Saudi Arabia killing countless people for ingesting and selling substances deemed illegal by the state, an ever-expanding epidemic of drug addiction and overdoses currently grips the country.
Since 2004, Saudi Arabia has reported the highest number of amphetamine seizures in the world. That number making up a staggering 30% of the global figure. In Saudi Arabia, the majority of drug-related emergency room visits are due to reported drug abuse, the main drugs reported being: sympathomimetic (used for promoting stimulation of sympathetic nerves), opiates, and psychotherapeutic drugs like Benzodiazepines.
Despite Saudi Arabia publicly executing 84 alleged drug dealers in 2015, heroin use and sales grew in 2016.
What's more, if Trump really cared about the opioid crisis, he'd end the Afghan war which is responsible for flooding the market with heroin.
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A former British Territorial Army mechanic, Anthony C Heaford released a report three years ago, and a series of photos, which he says proves that British and American troops are harvesting opium in Afghanistan.
It is also no secret that Afghanistan opium production has increased by 3,500 percent, from 185 tons in 2001 to 6,400 in 2015, since the US-led invasion. Many US troops have come forward as well noting that protected and facilitated the harvest of these crops.
Instead of saving the US billions and shutting down the protection racket for the world's supplier of heroin, however, Trump thinks that executing people like Saudi is the solution.
What's more, one of the tools to beat the opioid epidemic exists right now. However, thanks to Jeff Sessions and the massive profit generated by police enforcing its prohibition, cannabis remains a schedule one drug.
In a recently published study in a peer-reviewed journal, Melvin D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher, and Alexander C. Wagenaar, set out to see if any association existed between Colorado's legalization of marijuana and opioid-related deaths in the state.
The researchers looked at all of the available data from the year 2000 to the year 2015. What they discovered may come as a shock to many. While the rest of the nation struggles with a burgeoning fatal opioid and heroin overdose crisis, the State of Colorado saw opioid deaths reduced while its population exploded.
It has long been stated that cannabis is a "gateway" drug, which leads users to experiment with other drugs, leading up to the most deadly, such as heroin. But the researchers in the study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that the availability of safe and legal cannabis actually reduced opiate deaths:
"Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sales and use resulted in a 0.7 deaths per month...reduction in opioid-related deaths. This reduction represents a reversal of the upward trend in opioid-related deaths in Colorado."
The researchers concluded, "Legalization of cannabis in Colorado was associated with short-term reductions in opioid-related deaths."
It's not just that study either. There were other studies showing that deaths from opioids plummet in states with legal cannabis, and that 80 percent of cannabis users give up prescription pills. A Feb. 2017 study confirmed that opioid dependence and overdoses dropped significantly in medical cannabis states.
In January 2017, the National Academies of Science published an exhaustive review of the scientific literature and found that one of the most promising areas in medical cannabis is for the treatment of chronic pain.
“This study sought to determine whether the cannabis constituent cannabidiol attenuates the development of morphine reward in the conditioned place preference paradigm. Separate groups of mice received either saline or morphine in combination with one of four doses of cannabidiol using three sets of drug/no-drug conditioning trials. After drug-place conditioning, morphine mice displayed robust place preference that was attenuated by 10 mg/kg cannabidiol. Further, when administered alone, this dose of cannabidiol was void of rewarding and aversive properties. The finding that cannabidiol blocks opioid reward suggests that this compound may be useful in addiction treatment settings.”
All these potential solutions to the opioid crisis are at our fingertips and yet the president thinks more drug war—arguably, the reason we are in the current crisis—will be the solution. Apparently, it wasn't enough for Donald Trump to watch every president since Nixon fail at fighting the war on drugs. Now, he's going to have to turn America into Saudi Arabia to prove how bad he can fail at it too.