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2 Australians arrested, paraded before media in Bali over cocaine possession

36 Comments
By Yuda A RIYANTO

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We are still but a mob of animals. That said, these guys are lucky they are only getting up to 12 years, max. A lot of SE Asian countries give the death penalty.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I guess Indonesia should consider legalizing cocaine. I mean, it's just a harmless white powder.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

I guess Indonesia should consider legalizing cocaine. I mean, it's just a harmless white powder.

Well, cocaine is hardly harmless. It's almost as bad for you as alcohol. But regardless, I do agree, as all drugs should be legal.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

never get high with any local in a foreign country they'll drop a dime on you, be careful who you get high with if they get in trouble they may turn you in too, advice from a retired top US mafia figure - if you're gonna commit any crime figure out how to do it alone, that's just how it is.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

 ($57,000) fine if found guilty

Hey, Mummy & Daddy can i have my inheritance or could you sell your house to help me out of this little mess i'm in, I swear I'll pay you back .

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Rena Matsui: "I guess Indonesia should consider legalizing cocaine. I mean, it's just a harmless white powder."

What on earth are you talking about? Even if you're being sarcastic, that doesn't make any sense.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

According to Australian TV News Report this evening they were dealing as well A more serious offence.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Strangerland Today  03:48 pm JST

Well, cocaine is hardly harmless. It's almost as bad for you as alcohol. But regardless, I do agree, as all drugs should be legal.

Please. It's much worse for you than alcohol.

As for "all drugs should be legal," no offence but I think one has to be on drugs to say such a thing.

We have far too many people dying from drugs now, when they're illegal. They're highly addictive at a level that alcohol is not.

How many more would die with legalisation, which would send a message that drugs are okay and won't harm you?

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

As for "all drugs should be legal," no offence but I think one has to be on drugs to say such a thing.

It's escapism, and like most forms of escapism - it's not for everyone.

It's like when a belief system means one says, oh - that's against my beliefs, I can't do that. Fair enough.

It doesn't mean though, oh- that's against my beliefs, YOU can't do that. See the difference?

Legalize all drugs and let the people decide whether or not they want to take them.

And no, I'm not on drugs.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Please. It's much worse for you than alcohol.

I can only guess from your comment that you have never experimented with alternative social solutions.

Portugal has got it right...we need other countries to follow.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Never get high with anyone in Japan as well. They will rat you out in a second. Walk away from drugs in Asia.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Everyone knows Indonesia has some of the strictest drug laws on the planet...these guys just wasted their lives idiots they deserve whatever punishment they got coming.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I’ve been all around Java and Sumatra over 30 times. Indonesia is a beautiful country and the people are so nice... I’ve never been to Bali but elsewhere in Indonesia it’s really difficult to even find alcohol because it’s a Muslim country. Jakarta, yeah the big supermarkets carry beer but anywhere else forget about it. So in a country where it is so hard to find a beer why would anyone think of doing drugs?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Some people want a buzz. It is fun for some people. Not everyone.

Portugal has proved that we would not see a lot of problems. As a crime reduction principle, total legality seems the only way to go.

Selective prohibition sucks imo.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The message is simple. Don’t do drugs in Bali! If you get caught, your life is over. It’s that simple!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This is terribly sad. I feel sorry for these men. They are going to suffer badly for a long time.

After all the publicity over the harsh penalties some of thier countrymen have suffered for similar offenses you'd think they knew better. Too late now.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Anyone stupid enough to be doing drugs kie that in Bali deserves their time.They just thought they were above the local laws.I love a good smoke but in some places you just dont do it and if you do pay the price

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Australians ?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

We are still but a mob of animals. That said, these guys are lucky they are only getting up to 12 years, max. A lot of SE Asian countries give the death penalty.

It's primarily Singapore and Malaysia. The Philippines doesn't count, they've circumvented legal niceties to adopt a policy of extrajudicial murder.

Malaysia and Singapore on the other hand stick (more or less, anyway) to their actual drug laws, which are pretty barbaric, but there as in Indonesia there is a distinction between trafficking and possession. The catch is that possession above a certain (small) amount is automatically deemed to be trafficking, regardless of whether it actually is or not, prosecution for those caught is inevitable, and sentencing is mandatory.

The 1.1 g mentioned in this story would only be classed as possession in Singapore. 3 g or above is automatically prosecuted as trafficking, and the death penalty is mandatory for possession of 30 g. It's 40 g in Malaysia. It also seems that Malaysia (including judges in actual trials) have been rather less zealous in applying the law than Singapore.

Other countries like Burma, Vietnam, Thailand Cambodia and Laos, may well have strict laws, but they're inconsistently applied, thanks to inefficiency and corruption and probably in some cases lack of will or an inability to deal with the scale of the problem; they're also major production centres (not just in the region but globally) and local drug use is rife.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If what they did is true, they are very stupid to do it in Bali.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I smell something fishy here...

they were "users" not dealers...

how could they afford the drugs in the first place ?

who... sold it to them... that's who the authorities should be going after.

12 years seems a waste of effort for all. Smarter action would be to rehabilitate them and ensure they earned their keep to pay for that activity, return of passport not possible until certified clean/non-dependent, and costs repaid.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not only Asia but North Africa. Morocco to be exact. Went there on hols we were constantly being offered marijuana in shops, by strangers in the street. We didn't buy any, but when we went to cross the border into Spain, as the only 'foreigners we were singled out, our luggage was opened and a sniffer dog was let loose. The guards were surprised the dogs found nothing. Each time the dog walked away, it was led back to our luggage. It was as if they had us down as guilty and wanted the dog to find something. I learned a good lesson that day - don't do drugs unless you're willing to do the time

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Like others have said, how can you be stupid enough to do drugs in Bali of all places? It's always in the news for arresting foreigners with drugs, even just marijuana. I really don't have any sympathy for them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And for the folks saying legalizing all drugs? Come look at the crack and meth problem we have here in Seattle and try to tell me that with a straight face. Our local police don't arrest people for shooting up in public so it pretty much is legal here. We have literal piles of drug needles lining our streets and people stoned out of their minds laying on sidewalks and harassing, sometimes attacking, random bystanders every day. Some recreational drugs like marijuana? Sure. All drugs? Hell no, you really do have to be high to think that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

One of the primary advantages of having them legalizing, regulated and taxed is to manage and pay for any excesses; instead of allow an criminal industry to operate tax free, and leave society to pick up the tab for its victims.

Unfortunately, case where there has been decriminalization - like Portugal - prove your fears are exaggerated and ungrounded. It saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. 

US-style "war on drugs" have created the opposite, the only beneficiaries being crime gangs, including the CIA, and the incarceration industry, the industries passing the cost onto the rest of non-using society.

Therefore legalize, regulate (monitor, de-criminalize, ensure purity and strengths) and tax and over night you'll not only wipe out some of the most vicious crime and same billions, but reap billions to spend on society programs that will alleviate demand. Like Universal Healthcare, so poor people won't be forced to "self-medicate" their pain.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-is-working-why-hasnt-the-world-copied-it

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thanks pacificwest.

I will never understand why you prosecute users since they hurt only themselves...when you have the sellers smiling a few meters away who you could guess their activity.

And it seens by look8ng at the photo the 2 Australians were not the only persons in orange suit being paraded.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Risking death (you can never know how safe the drug is that you are smoking/injecting) in less harsh sentencing countries is bad enough without going to one where you risk the death penalty.

Using or dealing with drugs in those countries with such harsh sentences is totally stupid thing to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Portugal has proved that we would not see a lot of problems. 

Western Canada is proving it would see plenty of problems, indeed a crisis was declared a couple of years ago. The problem escalated after the police adopted a hands-off policy toward users, so drugs are effectively legal there. And the govt gives junkies almost everything they ask for.

The result today is an average of 3 overdose deaths a day -- in the province in BC alone. 70-80% of ambulance calls are substance related, and nearly all of those are narcotics. Society pays a horrific price. Thank god for Japan...and places like Singapore. I rather like health and safety.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Please. It's much worse for you than alcohol.

So I have you, telling me that cocaine is worse for the body than alcohol, but I have WebMD telling me that alcohol is worse: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20101101/alcohol-more-harmful-than-crack-or-heroin

Hmm, which to give more credence to? Your comment, or the findings of "medical experts"?

As for "all drugs should be legal," no offence but I think one has to be on drugs to say such a thing.

Can't attack the argument, attack the person.

We have far too many people dying from drugs now, when they're illegal.

So, even though they are illegal, people are still doing them and dying, and your solution to this is to... keep them illegal. Hmm, what's that thing they say about doing something over and over and expecting a different outcome?

People will do drugs. This is fact. Making them illegal has never stopped that, and never will. Instead it creates an environment where a black market can thrive due to the extreme profits that can be made due to the high risk of trafficking. Just as there are always people who will do drugs, there are always be people who will take the risk for that profit. Trying to pretend otherwise is living in la-la land, and wishing for unicorns.

Let's look at something I think we can all agree is a real crime: rape. When the police take a rapist off the street, the result is less rapes. You don't see a 'rape vacuum' that someone steps in to fill.

When the police arrest a drug dealer, someone else steps in and fills the vacuum. The end result is someone in the prison system that has to be paid for, but the loss of drugs on the street is a minor blip until someone else steps in.

The War on Drugs has treated drugs as a criminal issue, which has been a massive failure. Drugs are not a criminal issue, they are a health issue. Look at your arguments against it "people are dying", and "they are addictive". Ok.... and how does people in jail solve these health issues you have brought up? And why has it not been solved if the current "solution" is a complete and utter failure?

How many more would die with legalisation, which would send a message that drugs are okay and won't harm you?

The question is how many less. Currently drugs are unregulated. Hard drugs are cut with agents to increase the volume, thereby making more money. In North America, they are cutting it with fentanyl, which is so potent it's hard to dose, and people die as a result. People do black-market drugs, and hope they won't die. This is all because drugs are unregulated, and people, who don't forget, do drugs regardless of their legality, are doing low-quality drugs, that they are buying from a black market. And prison is somehow supposed to fix this?

You try to ridicule me for my comments, but look at your perspective objectively, you're blinded by decades of propaganda against drugs that have tried to brand them as a moral deficiency requiring a criminal solution.

I'm not saying we should have heroin stores and a commercial market advertising the best "black tar". But if someone wants to do heroin, they should be able to go to a dispensary, talk with someone like a pharmacist, be given a pamphlet and verbal talk about where they can get help if they want to quit, and then given clean, affordable drugs that won't kill them, and doesn't require them to go out and do crime to feed their addiction. Take the money currently spent on law enforcement and prison, and redirect it to education, and rehabilitation. Let people make their bad choices, and provide them with direction to get help, and help when they come.

This is dealing with the problem as a health issue. Educate and regulate. Stop the completely ridiculous idea that somehow prison is going to fix this issue. Anyone who can look at the current system and think that it's going to suddenly work...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Stranger: A bit long for a post, but astute analysis. It's shocking how many people are completely ignorant about the best way to reduce the harm surrounding illicit substances.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Stranger: A bit long for a post, but astute analysis. It's shocking how many people are completely ignorant about the best way to reduce the harm surrounding illicit substances.

Decades of propaganda being pushed on people from a young age - it takes an open mind to be able to push past those biases and look at the situation from an objective point of view.

The first time I heard the idea of legalizing all drugs, I also instinctively rebelled against it.

But since it was a judge who was promoting it, I actually listened to what he said. Then I spent a bunch of time researching what he said, and questioning what I had been taught to believe about drugs. And I realized, everything I had been taught to believe was a lie.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

US-style "war on drugs" have created the opposite, the only beneficiaries being crime gangs, including the CIA, and the incarceration industry, the industries passing the cost onto the rest of non-using society.

Except that here in the Pacific Northwest, it isn't being criminalized. In Seattle, it basically is legal in everything but name. People are free to OD on the streets and police have explicit orders not to harass them for it. These people are offered help but they refuse it because they are being allowed to do what they want.

I can tell you first hand that letting people do whatever drugs they want is making things here worse, not better. I see it every day, so please don't tell me how it will be fine, because it isn't. It's got nothing to do with indoctrination, I am seeing the damage to our local communities with my own eyes. Businesses have to lock their doors during business hours to prevent junkies from coming in and harassing customers. People have to walk around human feces from the junkies using sidewalks as toilets. All because people are being allowed free reign to do what they want.

Maybe it worked in Portugal, it sure as hell is not working in Seattle.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Except that here in the Pacific Northwest, it isn't being criminalized. In Seattle, it basically is legal in everything but name. People are free to OD on the streets and police have explicit orders not to harass them for it. These people are offered help but they refuse it because they are being allowed to do what they want.

How would imprisoning these people be an appropriate solution to what is clearly a health issue? How is putting them in a cell and removing their freedom at a cost to taxpayer a way of solving the issues that have led to these people becoming addicts?

And "legal in everything but name" is entirely incorrect. Not even remotely correct. Not prosecuting users is not legalization. The motivation for a black market still exists. Drugs are not regulated. Junkies resort to crime to support their habits. Money is still being spent on drug enforcement, rather than on rehabilitation.

No, it is not legal in everything but name. Not prosecuting addicts (for whom prosecution literally makes no logical sense) is not equal to legalization.

It's simply not wasting resources on imprisoning people for a health issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And it was very heavy weight and utterly ridiculous propanda, Strangerland, deliberately and specifically service far right interests both within the USA, and all around the world.

You can read the history of this out in the open now, it happened during the Civil Rights and Peace Movements and, of course, it was built on racist foundations as marijuana was seen as a "Black" drug. The far right realised that they could not criminalize those movement, however, they could hamper and assasinate individuals - both character wise and literally - using repressive drug laws that specifically targetted black and hippie communities. The result of which was actually to hugely increase in misuse.

Actually, it is not a "Black" drug is a "Poor" drug as it's used by the poor all over the world, because it free and grows like weeds. Which is another reason the State hates it, it is hard to tax and apply duties too. And this is especially true in Indonesia where, just like Japan, it grew everywhere.

These "War on Drug/war on the left wing" policies were then exported the world over by the CIA (while, of course, at the same time the CIA were involved in the trade of them for their own purposes) ... including to Indonesia, where it/the US support some of the worst, murderous and corrupt right wing (and Muslim) thugs in Asia.

Again, just as the US did in the 60s, the Indonesia right wing uses for political supression. It has a "shooting drug dealers on sight" policy that has led to accusations of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses.

You can only start to understand the "drug problem" in Indonesia by understanding the political foundations behind the current and recent political regimes ... who put who in power why, and how corrupt and brutal they are ... and the US backed dictator Suharto dictatorship when hundreds of thousands of left wing activists were killed by right wing vigilantes, military and law enforcement.

There are other angles going on here too. While Indonesia is Muslim, Bali is Hindu and generally much easier going. It, itself, suffered greatly during the dark periods of recent history, and yet the primary source of narcotics are from Muslim sources both from Aceh province (where there is the Free Aceh Movement), other islands, and the Philippines, (where Muslim rebels such as the Abu Sayyaf are involved in the trade to raise funds for their Jihad).

I'm sorry for the loose, scatter gun effect. It's a far bigger topic than it appears from this showcase arrest. These are just signposts to start to understand elements of it that are not obvious.

Of course, poverty and inequality are the real roots of the problems arising from it which is why it should be brought into the open, legal market and the income from it redistributed rather than being funneled into corrupt, violent right wing and criminal elements.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All I see is 'prosecuting them will do nothing' but then when I give a specific example where they are not prosecuted, the narrative shifts to 'but there is still a black market'. These people will do the same drugs with the same effect whether they are buying it from a corner dealer or a pharmacist. Junkies will still steal to feed their habit regardless of where there drug of choice is sold. Just because it is sold at RiteAid instead of an alley, the junkie still won't have the money to pay for it. Or should we subsidize it? Let them use their food stamps to buy heroin. Sure why not...

Then you say money is still being spent on enforcement not rehabilitation, but ignore that in Seattle, a huge disproportionate portion of the city's budget is spent to try to help addicts. People are actually getting fed up with the rest of the city's issues that are being neglected because of the amount of money thrown at the problem, yet the addicts refuse help because they are allowed to do hard drugs with no consequences.

Blanket legalization will not stop the abuse. What worked in one place does not work everywhere and it is being proven where I live. People are different in different parts of the world. People being allowed to shoot heroin in the street cannot be legal. Come hang out in Pike Place Market for a day or two and see how it looks when your plan is failing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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