The drug menace in Korea has persisted for quite some time. Drug abusers have increased from 400,000 in 2001 to the current 2 million (Cho, 5). This increase in drug abuse has triggered the government of Korea to devise several laws that help to curb the distribution, sale, and use of drugs. The common types of drugs abused in Korea include Methamphetamine and marijuana. These drugs are used across all ages; from the teenagers to adults. As such, it is destroying the future of the country slowly by slowly. The actions of the government to legislate on drug abuse intends to achieve four main objectives; to eradicate the supply of illicit drugs, to drastically reduce the demand for drugs in the country, to raise public awareness on the dangers of the use of illicit drugs, and finally, to promote international cooperation in the fight against the vice (Cho, 5).
Legislating is however, not the ultimate solution since it is only done in theory. Additionally, the process of legislation against a drug menace requires the consensus of most of the members of the legislature. In any case, some of the members that are involved in the legislation have stakes in the business of the illicit drugs. Therefore, they will oppose any bill that proposes to criminalize the supply and use of drugs because since it will sure enough affect their businesses (Perl, 10). This means that the legislations that are going to come out of the legislative arms are going to be biased and unfair to a certain part of the society. The biggest problem, however, that is associated with laws, is in their implementation. Although they might look good on the paper, practically, they might be very complex and inappropriate. As such, most laws on curbing drug abuse have remained to exist just on paper. Others have faced many hurdles because the implementation arm of the government has failed to perform its duties. In other cases, the police who are the main enforcers of the laws are biased and corrupt. As such, the laws end up not achieving the intended purposes.
Some of the laws that are enacted by the legislative arm of the Korean government are inadequate. In this regard, they provide a cosmetic solution to the problem without actually dealing with the root causes (Perl, 11). For instance, sending drug abusers to jail will only aggravate the already huge problem. This is because, the measures are only punishing instead of reforming. When those abusers get out of prison, they continue with their behavior. Additionally, the suppliers of these drugs will stop at nothing to ensure that their business of the sale of illicit drugs remains booming. Besides, most of the illicit drugs are addictive in nature. They stay in the blood of the victim for a very long time. Others become part of an individual. Therefore, stopping them abruptly can be very harmful to the health and well-being of that particular person. Indeed, it can lead to various diseases such as heart attacks and loss of memory. Additionally, it can even lead to fatalities in extreme cases. Therefore, making deterring laws will not at all decrease the number of drug suppliers and abusers.
One perfect example of the inefficiency of making laws to curb drug abuse is the enactment of United States 1920 Alcohol Prohibition Act. The proponents of this Act were the Anti-Salon League as well as the Christian Temperature Union. The basis of the prohibition was that the excessive use of alcohol was responsible for the high rates of wife buttering and other forms of domestic violence. Additionally, they attributed the use of alcohol, to the increasing cases of child abuse in those times. Besides, there were industrialists such as Henry Ford who claimed that the use of alcohol was taking a toll on the productivity of labor in the industries. At first, the proponents won the fight. However, most of the Americans still saw the intake of alcohol as an integral part of their life. Instead of looking at it as a vice, they embraced it and continued to take alcohol. The government was overwhelmed to a point where it lifted the blanket ban on the sale and use of alcohol.
The other reason why the change of laws is not enough is the privacy of peoples homes. In this regard, the government cannot regulate on how people are going to lead their private lives. Additionally, laws cannot guide people morals. In any case, laws are for public benefits and do not extend to private lives unless there are compelling reasons. In this case, the problem arises where people make drugs in their own houses. This is a jurisdiction where a change in law will not be applicable. As a result, the Korean government should start free drug counseling for those involved in the manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs. One mistake that is commonly made is that; the government deals with the fruits of the problem instead of uprooting it. In this regard, they only arrest and lock up the users without first investigating the source of these drugs. In this case, the drugs continue to be used by others who are not arrested. Therefore, the proper approach to the problem of abuse is by initiating a free counseling for all the parties involved. In this session of counseling, they will be informed on the health effects of the drugs. Additionally, they will be afforded with alternative ways of making ends meet apart from the sale and distribution of drugs.
There are other measures that the Korean government can employ to ensure the drastic reduction of drug abuse incidents. One of those is the use of alternative medicines. In this regard, the government should consider the use of complementary medicines. These are drugs that are freshly made without any chemical additives. It has been established that those drugs have no side effects since they are chemical free. Additionally, they are not addictive since they do not contain any caffeine or any other form of addictive substances. There freshness is ideal to most people who want to avoid the temptation that comes with drug abuse. For instance, the traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurveda are some of the complementary and alternative medicines that are very effective.
Making addicted drug abusers change is an uphill task. However, it is possible. In this regard, the best method to make them stop is by using very practical withdrawing mechanisms, which are not harmful to them. As such, the government should set up rehabilitation centers at the hotspots of drug abusers so that those touched by the free counseling can go to redeem themselves at the rehabilitation centers. These rehabilitation centers should be operated at the expense of the government through the public funds. Bit by bit, the victims should be advised on how they are going to withdraw from the drug addiction. This method is very effective since it does not make an instantaneous stop in the use of illicit drugs. However, it helps the victim recover by reducing the quantity of illicit drugs that they take on a daily basis. With time, the victims will withdraw completely and become reformed people.
To conclude, the use of illicit drugs is a behavior that has been rampant in Korea. Although the government has initiated the enactment and amendment of different laws, that has not helped reduce the abuse of drugs. This is because, the laws are good on paper but difficult to implement. For instance, the 1920 Alcohol Prohibition Act of the United States failed barely two years after it was ratified. Therefore, change in law is not the solution to the problem of drug abuse. However, the government should conduct free counseling exercises throughout the drug abuse prone zones. Additionally, it should set rehabilitation centers where the victims of drug abuse can withdraw slowly from the use of drugs; these centers should be funded by the government. This way, the war against the use of drugs will be worn. Otherwise, the change of laws will only punish the end users while leaving the root causes, who are the manufactures, Scott free. Additionally, failure to deal with the distributors will render any efforts to eradicate the menace futile.
Cho, Pyong-in. Drug Control Policy in Korea. International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, 2014.pp.5-18
Perl, Raphael F. "Drug Trafficking and North Korea: Issues for US Policy." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, 2007.pp 10-15
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