A White House official said Trump has privately expressed interest in Singapore’s policy of executing drug dealers. He also has endorsed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose “drug war” has led to the deaths of thousands of people by extrajudicial police killings. Last year, Trump praised Duterte in a phone call for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem,” according to the New York Times.
To be fair, Trump isn’t the only one with this idea. I’ve seen more than a few friends on Facebook share an image bearing the text: “Shoot Your Local Heroin Dealer.” While their anger is understandable, these sort of killings is neither legal nor ethical, and would do virtually nothing to actually address the root of the issue.
There are better methods. Many local governments are suing pharmaceutical companies to “halt the cycle in which opioid analgesics — legal prescriptions — lead to dependence and death, either from the drugs themselves or after users begin to use illegal opiates such as heroin.” Other states are putting funds toward addiction treatment–despite a lack of support from the Trump administration–at the advice of medical professionals.
Before we start killing people willy-nilly, let’s listen to the experts, okay?