President Trump Explores the Death Penalty for Drug Dealers (but Is It a Good Idea?)

We’ve got a drug problem in this nation. Of that, I have no doubt.

So how do we fix it?

Well, the Trump administration is looking into the death penalty for drug dealers as a good starting point.


President Trump has previously voiced his approval of nations that deal harshly with drug dealers. He’s even praised the crazed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose extrajudicial killings of drug dealers has human rights activists up in arms.

“Some countries have a very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty, and they have much less of a drug problem than we do,” Trump said at a White House summit last week.

One report is that White House officials have been in contact with Singapore representatives, to discuss that nation’s drug policies – the strictest in the world.

For example, conviction of possession of 500 grams or more of marijuana, 15 grams or more of heroin, or 200 grams or more of hashish make you eligible for the death penalty, as part of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Only 15 grams of marijuana would count as trafficking.

If you can prove you’re only a courier, and not a dealer, you can get that death penalty knocked down to life imprisonment.

Also, the government of Singapore has the right to randomly drug screen its citizens, without warrant or cause.


A dirty urine sample the first time will get a user a year in prison. A second dirty screening gets you 3 years in prison. The third time gets a minimum of 5 years in prison and three lashes by the cane.

I don’t imagine the administration is looking to go that extreme with policy. It likely wouldn’t stand up against the rights afforded citizens, whether they’re addicts, or not.

Currently, the death penalty can only be sought in drug-related cases in which murder or the death of a law enforcement officer is involved.

One White House approach would be to make high-volume trafficking of fentanyl a capital crime, given that even a small amount of the synthetic can be fatal, while officials are also looking at harsher noncapital punishments for large-scale dealers, the Post reported.

Trump has said he doesn’t see leniency as a way to solve the problem, and he’s not wrong. Just giving the ultimate penalty for dealing, however, will likely not be the deterrent he hopes, either.

The main reason is that it’s attacking the crime without digging up the root problem. As long as that root is there, the problem will keep coming back, and just as it was with the Prohibition period, people who want that product will find a way.


I also sympathize with what is likely, at least a portion of Trump’s issue with substance abuse, and that would be his brother, Freddy, who struggled with alcoholism and saw what could have been a promising life cut short.

Sadly, there are more than a few reading this now who absolutely can comprehend the desperate need to do something about this nation’s drug problem. Few can say they are untouched by the drug epidemic, in some fashion.

I’ve seen drugs destroy family and friends, and I abhor the culture that drew them in.

But the death penalty for dealers?

It might be a tough one to pull off, and I’m not convinced it would help, given that those enslaved to substances have already traded their lives for something less.




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