President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs is doomed to fail, based on the experience of other countries that have taken the same approach to the illicit trade, as well as on economics.
This is according to Dr. John Collins, the executive director of the International Drug Policy Project under the London School of Economics’ think tank IDEAS.
Mr. Collins spoke through Skype on Monday at an Ateneo de Manila University forum on anti-drug campaigns, the second one organized by the Ateneo School of Government, in partnership with other units, since the beginning of the Duterte administration.
The academic explained that the supply of drugs will not decrease in the long run because drugs are renewable commodities. Unlike rhinoceros horns and similar items that are illegal for trade, drugs can be manufactured in a laboratory anywhere.
Collins referred to the “balloon effect” as pressing down one part of an inflated balloon causing another part to pop out. In the drug trade, this was seen when the opium trade shifted from China to Burma (now Myanmar) to Afghanistan, among other places.
“You can’t suppress all parts equally at all times,” he said.