Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Its a Drug-Full Life

Drug trafficking to society, is a crime, a sin. To another portion of the crowd, it’s easy money. Easy in a sense that you provide the drugs and you get paid. Drugs don’t come cheap, especially with the process involved in making it (waiting for a weed plant to grow doesn’t take a day or two) and the risks of legal action if caught. Once addicted, people are willing to pay any price to get hold of it.
Which is probably one of the reasons which makes women an easy target for drug lords. Most girls suffer from poor girl rich girl taste syndrome. To make ends meet, a regular job might suffice, but what about those other needs? The latest designer handbag? A new pair of shoes to match that gorgeous skirt? Lucrative promises like a week's paid vacation at a luxury resort in Jamaica, cash for clothing and toiletries before departure, spending money while there, and another check when you get home is not exactly something you can say no to. Even if the pre condition is traveling with a bag of Heroin and risking severe penalty if caught.
Most chances are, thoughts of the penalties don’t exactly cross their minds. Wealth clouds the ability to reason, apparently.

However, being a drug mule is not always by choice. It’s not always about wanting a Vera Wang gown for your wedding or a quick holiday in Belgium that leads you to easy money options like drug trafficking. There are those who are really trying to make ends meet, clothe and feed their children for instance. Some were forced into it, after being kidnapped. Some didn’t even suspect that they were drug mules until they were caught at the airport.
Such is the case as observed by Deputy Foreign Minister, A. Kohilan Pillay. According to him, about 70-80 percent of Malaysian drug mules detained in Latin American countries are women. Most of them were young and conned by the idea of winning travelling tickets but were carrying drugs in their luggage without even realizing it.
The fact that you get caught in a foreign country and are subject to the foreign country’s position on drug trafficking laws says enough. It all depends on your luck. If you land in Indonesia or Malaysia, say goodbye to your easy money and hello to hell. Otherwise would be said if you land in, say, Amsterdam. But it’s not strictly about the punishment. The process of waiting for the punishment to be executed, you’ll be stuck in prison. When has prison ever been a lovely bed of roses experience? You nor I am Lindsay Lohan. Prison is prison. Period. The experience is even worst when you’re in a foreign country where language and customs can be a barrier.

You can say that you had it coming, if you chose to be a drug mule. But what about unsuspecting victims?
This brings me to my current question, is it fair to impose a heavy punishment on these innocent beings? Sure there are legal defences you can rely on in court. But there is no guarantee of getting bailed out based on these defences. A lighter punishment perhaps, but hey, the psychological trauma of being in prison, being caught, I don’t know. Isn’t there something more we can do to help? And again, I’m not talking about drug mules by choice, but the ones who were forced into it.


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