“Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said that statistics showed in 2018, the number of youths caught with drug addiction offenses were 18,967, while adult drug offenders were 6,300”. This issue has gained the government’s attention on decriminalizing drug possession for personal use in Malaysia instead of treating drug addicts as criminals. In my opinion, I agree that Malaysia should decriminalize drug possession for personal use, as it can reduce societal violence and change social stigma towards drug dependants.
Firstly, the main reason why Malaysia should decriminalize drugs possessive for personal use is to reduce societal violence in communities.
When an individual is addicted to drugs such as LSD, marijuana, cocaine, heroin this situation will mentally affect the person’s brain functionality to think rationally and impacts how the body perceives pleasures. This will lead an individual having constant mood swings, depression, anxiety, paranoia, which cause them to act violently and subconsciously. For instance, a report in Berita Harian in March 2017 shows, a drug addict father has sexually assaulted his biological 8-month years old baby due to addiction to drugs (Rangasamy a/l Raju).
The statistic from the New Strait Times also revealed that in 2015, 1,973 or 41 percent from 4,838 drug abusers who were in treatment fell back to their old habit. Hence, illumination of drug consumption may not only be harmful to the user, nor it also affects the society in a way of violence.
On the other side, some people may oppose decriminalizing drugs use in Malaysia because it can ruin the society.
Drug consumption will cause problems whereas the consumer tends to commit violence and a high risk to get a drug-related disease. The reason for the Malaysian government to decriminalize drugs is to change society’s perception of drug dependants. Apart from that, all the drug users have been portrayed as criminals in this society. In reality, no one sees how addictive an individual towards drugs possession and the amount of drug they consume. For example, according to Samantha Chong’s interview in Astro Awani, only one out of six drug users need treatment to recover from the habit. The rest of them are not drug dependent and can control themselves the amount of consumption substances. In the order, as per Malaysian law, the amount for drug possession for personal use is 5gm for one individual. If the police catch an individual having the excessive amount from that then they can be charged as traffickers and can control themselves the amount of consumption substances. In the order, as per Malaysian law, the amount for drug possession for personal use is 5gm for one individual. If the police catch an individual having the excessive amount from that then they can be charged as traffickers and will be put behind bars. Whereas, the number of people who hold below 5gm can be sent to a rehabilitation centre instead of directly charging them as criminals. Also, addiction is a disease that can be treated by proper treatment instead of portraying it as an offense. This action will lead people to think once again about the reason behind addiction. As evidence, according to the Crime and Law Enforcement department in Malaysia, it has been reported that in 2017, the government has successfully reduced the case of crime in drug abuse to around 4,483 (by R. Hirschmann, Mar 5, 2019). Thus, in this case, traffickers are more menacing than the consumers. On that, the law should be tightened for the traffickers than the consumers to strengthen the decriminalization of drugs in Malaysia.
To sum up, a shift away from punitive and fear-based strategies can reduce the social stigma around drug dependants. The government should justify decriminalization in Malaysia as soon as possible to generate a healthy lifestyle and environment for the future generation in our country.
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