Jokowi renews focus on drug 'emergency'

Jokowi renews focus on drug 'emergency'

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reiterated his call to fight drug abuse on Wednesday during a national coordination meeting held by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), which was also attended by governors, regents and mayors from across the country.

"There is an emergency [of rampant drug abuse in the country] that requires everyone to work together [to handle it]," Jokowi said in his opening speech during the event in Jakarta.

"We need to take firm action. There's no more tolerance [on drug abuse]," he said.

According to Jokowi, between 4 and 4.5 million drug users required rehabilitation.

Lawmakers recently slammed the BNN for its lack of a comprehensive plan to deal with drug-related crime amid Jokowi's firm call to execute convicted drug smugglers.

Although the majority of lawmakers from House of Representatives' Commission III overseeing legal affairs, human rights and security applauded Jokowi's firm policy, few were convinced by the BNN's plan to achieve the government's ambitious target of making Indonesia drug-free this year.

The lawmakers' pessimism was partly due to the ongoing distribution of drugs from prisons, a process that is believed to be protected by officials.

BNN chief Comr. Gen. Anang Iskandar expected the meeting to push for a joint commitment between the central and local administrations in handling drug abuse.

To promote the government's drug policy, Anang also recently underlined the target of rehabilitating 100,000 drug addicts each year while at the same time proceeding with the firm policy of executing drug smugglers.

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