When political strife harms the war on drugs
Recent drug policy debates have largely focused on personal attacks. A real waste of time for the few social workers concerned about the scale of this social scourge.
“The fight against drug addiction should not be a “zet labou” campaign. It is above all a struggle against human suffering. “In recent weeks, we have witnessed a fierce campaign between the opposition and the government on the drug file, with violent attacks from one side and the other, although several social workers have been involved in the field to support the victims of this social scourge, but they are saddened by the tenor of the debate.
Danny Philippe of the NGO “Development-Collection-Information and Prevention” (DRIP) believes that the time should be above all for collective reflection. “The opposition and the government must finally decide to come to an agreement to develop a common strategy to reverse the trend,” he said.
According to Danny Philippe, political disputes between the opposition and the government often waste time. “By insisting on scoring political points against each other, especially because they are one step ahead of the authorities, traffickers have the upper hand,” he notes.
Drawing a parallel with the fight against AIDS, Danny Philippe says that it was only when collective efforts prevailed that Maurice regained control. “It was when the civil society and the political class started working hand in hand that we began to achieve positive results against AIDS. The time has come for a joint government-opposition platform where both parties can share their proposals and agree on a national strategy. »
The consensus reached between the opposition and the government on the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill shows that when we can find common ground, the people win. “Of course, there were some conflicts in the debates, but the opposition and the government agreed on the principle of this law for the rehabilitation of those who fell into the drug trap. It is in this direction that we should advance,” he insists.
Sam Lauthan, the former Minister of Social Security and former member of the Anti-Drug Commission, calls the level of politicians’ speeches on such a serious matter shameful. “We have been saying for years that the drug problem is extremely complex. This goes beyond the political framework because drugs have above all social, economic, cultural and emotional dimensions. »
Sam Lauthan, who is in the same direction as Danny Philippe, believes that the ruthless confrontation between the opposition and the government over the drug file has benefited the mafia. “I’ve studied the narcotics file enough over the years to understand the enormous tools available to drug kingpins. They have great financial resources and have access to various sectors of the country. We will win this fight not because of the desire to score political points against each other. »
For Sam Lauthan, it is important that every MP thoroughly documents himself in this file to be better equipped. It is with this in mind that he appeals to all elected members of the Milli Majlis to read the full report of the commission of inquiry on drugs to better understand the scale of the problem.
The former expert of the investigative commission on drugs also uses the opportunity to repeat his appeal to the government.
“All recommendations of the investigative commission should be applied without compromise. I heard health minister Kailesh Jagutpal say the other day that 80% of the recommendations have been implemented so far, but this is the whole report that needs to be accepted. We have been submitting our report for four years now,” he recalls.
Former MP Dev Virahsawmy, who also closely follows the drug issue, is more skeptical. He argues that since the main political parties in the country all share the same ideology, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions.
“All these political parties that are arguing over the narcotics file have been in power at some point in our history and have treated the narcotics problem in the same way. And what do we see today? ‘zet labou’ campaigns. Fann rhyme or rival. How to come to a civil discussion under such circumstances! he gets angry.
The sterile controversy surrounding drugs means that today there is an extremely profitable underground drug trade. “In recent years, we’ve seen a significant drop in the price of heroin, and at the same time, cannabis has become extremely expensive. The solution to all of this must be the decriminalization of marijuana as a whole. Cannabis for industry, medicine and recreation,” he said.
Much of our politicians’ discussion of drugs in recent weeks has revolved around accusations and attacks aimed at blaming some politicians for their closeness to drug traffickers. However, for those who regularly rub shoulders with people who have succumbed to the temptations of drug addiction, the political class leaves more and more scars. The message is clear: pull yourself together!