The global War on Drugs may have just hit an all-time low for hypocrisy. The president of the Philippines, whose government killed thousands of citizens in a campaign to halt illegal drug sales, just joked about using cannabis to stay alert on the job.
During an event held to recognize excellence within the Department of Foreign Affairs, Rodrigo Duterte bantered with the audience about how he manages his hectic schedule. “It’s a killing activity,” he said. “But at my age, I am not really bothered because I take marijuana to stay awake.”
The New York Times reported that the comment was met by “bursts of laughter.”
Not in the room, ostensibly, were the families of the 12,000-plus individuals who have been slain by law enforcement and citizen militias since June 2016, the beginning of Duterte’s administration. When he was first sworn in, Duterte told the residents of a low-income Manila neighborhood to “go ahead and kill” drug addicts. Duterte not only encouraged citizens to kill the addicted, he then followed that statement by adding that he wanted to kill addicts in order to take that pressure off families. As part of his anti-drug campaign (largely waged against the methamphetamine-use popular in