THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Phuket Opinion: Where the streets are paved with ‘ice’

PHUKET: News of the major crystal meth drug bust this week with 7.5 kilos of ya ice seized in a condo north of Phuket Town was disturbing. It wasn’t the volume of drugs seized, or even the claim that the two main suppliers had confessed that they had shifted 54kg of the drug in previous shipments.

drugscrimepoliceopinion
By The Phuket News

Sunday 23 July 2017, 09:00AM


The price of crystal meth (ya ice) in Phuket has plunged, causing concern among police of just how much of teh drug is on the island. Photo: The Phuket News / file

The price of crystal meth (ya ice) in Phuket has plunged, causing concern among police of just how much of teh drug is on the island. Photo: The Phuket News / file

It was the price.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen noted, “The price of ya ice has decreased from approximately B1 million per kilogram down to B140,000.” (See story here.)

Like any business, increased efficiencies in production techniques and delivery networks reduce costs over time for producers who can then afford to lower prices, but to appreciate where we are now with ya ice, let’s do the math.

At B1mn per kilo, that’s B1,000 a gram, or B250 per 250mg “hit”. That was already a lot cheaper than a bottle of gut-rot whiskey at a local entertainment establishment, for those wiling to take the risk. If Gen Teeraphol’s intel is accurate, that price has fallen to B140,000 per kilo, or B140 per gram. That’s B35 per 250mg “hit”, the same price as a can of beer. That’s not even pocket change.

In one way that’s kind of good news. It means that Phuket’s per capita usage rate has hit its head on the ceiling. Whatever the number of people in Phuket who use ice, the suppliers have more than matched demand.

The bad news is that any decent entrepreneur will now seek new markets, new demographics, new people to sell their drugs to. Also, the appeal of the drug being so cheap will entice other people to try it as it is now so common and easily available in Phuket. For the price of ice to fall so dramatically, the fear is that the island is being flooded with drugs and there is so much ice on the streets that dealers have to cut prices to shift it.

It also means that of Thailand’s decade-long “War on Drugs” policy has failed miserably and perhaps it's time to try something different. Recent discourse by high-ranking government officials, most notably Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Khumchaya, have explored the option of taking a public health approach to drug use and putting addicts in treatment rather than in jail. So why not give that a try?

In the meantime, if you see a crazy driver out there, steer clear. It may not be a booze-fuelled tirade you’re witnessing, but a glimpse of the ya ice epidemic lurking under the skin of Phuket’s community.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Aircraft maintenance worker, 22, dies after motorbike hits parked bus

What is the minimum distance a car, truck, bus is allowed to park before/after a curve?...(Read More)


Family matters: The mother-son team behind a new cafe in Chalong

It might be helpful if you told us where this cafe is as I'd like to try it....(Read More)


Aircraft maintenance worker, 22, dies after motorbike hits parked bus

Why are such "small" vehicles, a bus, allowed to park, on the road, no wonder people drive...(Read More)


Disaster officials issue fire warning as small wildfires break out

Wonder how much water is still available on Phuket island for fire fighting. Not mentioning the nee...(Read More)


Disaster officials issue fire warning as small wildfires break out

Now, from Chalong, at 16:15 hrs clearly to see on the hill, right below Big Buddha, rubbish burning,...(Read More)


Aircraft maintenance worker, 22, dies after motorbike hits parked bus

... Fearful, the driver of the parked bus fled the scene...leaving a bag with all his identifying ma...(Read More)


Election Commission issues defamation warning

Imagine if the developed world had such laws. This does raise the question as to how to campaign eff...(Read More)


Power outage in Thalang

And nothing change to country 4.0 doings. Continue the old way of keeping cables at poles, instead u...(Read More)


Phuket health officials, police unite to enforce Makha Bucha alcohol ban

Why not have all non-'budhists' wear arm-bands with a distinguishing logo? They could be giv...(Read More)


Taxi blames oil spill for wipeout

Unless one wants to live in a Police state, where everything and everyone is under surveillance, the...(Read More)