Bali Governor: Province’s drugs situation is in a ‘state of emergency’

Illustration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Bali is in a narcotics “state of emergency,” the province’s governor said on Monday, with the number of drug abuse cases in 2016 totaling 62,457.

And those are only the known cases — there are certainly far more instances of drug abuse that aren’t known to authorities, provincial Governor Made Mangku Pastika insisted at a regional council session in Denpasar.

“That number is what’s recorded, just the tip of the iceberg. The actual amount, is a lot, it could be three to four times more,” he said.

“It’s already reaching villages, meaning we’ve really reached an emergency,” Pastika said, as quoted by Antara Bali.

Pastika also cited figures reflecting an increase in narcotics abuse cases from 61,353 in 2015 to 62,457 in 2016.

With those figures in mind, Pastika announced that the government has initiated the drafting of a provincial-level regulation that would help “facilitate drug abuse prevention” as well as provide funding that would help the National Narcotics Agency Bali Province (BNNP) expand its capabilities.

“BNNP really needs support … so we have to create a legal umbrella so we can help them with their regional revenue budget.”

At the moment, Bali’s Provincial Government can help BNNP with grants, but not give operational support, Pastika said.

“Hopefully with this new regulation, we would create a legal umbrella to provide support. We will try and ask BNNP what is needed.”

The regulation would fall under existing Law No. 35 on Narcotics and the Ministry of Home Affairs’s Regulation No. 21 on the Facilitation of Narcotics Abuse Prevention. Under these laws, it’s the local government that’s responsible for protecting the community and improving quality of life as it relates to drug abuse.

Drug violations are a serious offense in Indonesia, with drug smugglers sometimes getting locked up longer than murderers. Trafficking more than one kilogram of a raw, class I narcotic (or more than five grams in a processed form) is punishable by death.

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