By Max Walden for ABC
While thousands of drug convicts sit on death row in prisons across South-East Asia, the local trade in methamphetamine and other illicit drugs is flourishing.
Just last month, two Australian men were arrested in Bali for possession of cocaine and could be jailed for up to 12 years.
If they're found guilty of trafficking, they face up to 20 years in prison or death.
Out of 14 countries identified as actively applying the death penalty for drug crimes by watchdog Harm Reduction International (HRI), nearly half are in South-East Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
But despite the hard-line approach, a July 2019 report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that South-East Asia was producing methamphetamine in "quantities unimaginable a decade ago" — much of which is making its way to Australian shores.
A high proportion of those given the death penalty by South-East Asian states are foreigners.
Indonesia's President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo — generally presented as a moderate — has been an enthusiastic advocate of the death penalty for drug-related crimes.
It was under his watch that Bali Nine members Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were killed by firing squad in 2015.
"Just shoot them," Mr Widodo said of drug traffickers at a meeting of Indonesian mayors in 2017.