The Straits Times
Published on Nov 28, 2012

Drug addicts are culpable too


MR WAH June Hwang ("Drugs: Logic for lesser penalty doesn't cut it"; last Saturday) draws a parallel between drug traffickers and those abetting the suicide of a person under the age of 18 or an "insane" person. The reason was that both are seeking to end the life of a person incapable of deciding for and/or defending himself.

I disagree that drug addicts are victims. In a majority of cases, drug addicts are capable of deciding for themselves. They know what they are getting themselves into the moment they decide to do drugs. Placing them in the same category as the victims of those who abet in the suicide of the young or the insane is illogical.

Students are educated from a very young age against the consumption of illicit drugs and the dangers of drug abuse, and yet there are still those who throw caution to the wind and proceed to make drugs their lifestyle choice.

Furthermore, the Government has a whole range of programmes and measures in place to help these addicts. But most of them turn a blind eye to these programmes, or choose not to seek help.

As such, drug addicts are not victims.

I applaud the Government's move to include life imprisonment as one of the punishments for traffickers. This bears testimony to the fact that the law in Singapore knows how to show compassion and mercy on a case-by-case basis without comprising its firm stance towards drug abuse.

Ashwin Ganapathy