Beckley Briefing Paper Number 5 - Thailand's 'War on Drugs'

1 January 2005

The Thai 'war on drugs', which commenced in February 2003 in response to an explosion in methamphetamine use in this region of East Asia, has resulted in thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests. This paper provides insights into the strengths and limits of enforcement as an instrument of drug policy, by examining what is perhaps the toughest and most uncompromising recent manifestation of this approach.