An entire town got high in an unintentional drug party after the Indonesian police decided to burn 3.3 tons of dope worth $1 million.
On 11 March 2015, residents of Tangerang, West Jakarta, Palmerah, reached a new level of high when the Indonesian police set a 3.3-tonne pile of illegal drugs ablaze in an incinerator outside the sub precinct office in West Jakarta. The police burned the dope in front of journalists, suspected drug smugglers, police officials and residents. All the residents, including the journalists, suspects and police officials, got intoxicated when the toxic fumes from the incinerator filled the streets of Tangerang. Even after wearing the safety masks, police officials couldn’t escape the spell of fumes from this one of a kind bonfire. The Simpsons episode just got real, in which the police of Springfield did the same thing and portrayed the exact scenario.
Journalists and locals witnessing the blaze reported feeling dizzy, having headaches and having unusual feelings after inhaling the toxic fumes. “I got a headache because I wasn’t wearing a mask,” said Deden, a resident of Tangerang. A journalist covering the event reported having to “sit down and have a cup of tea” to recover from the effects of toxicity of the smoke from the drugs. However, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Narcotics Agency asserted that inhaling these toxic fumes would not lead to any long-term health problems.
The exact amount of the illegal drugs burned by the police officials were still under debate, but according to the Tangerang Police chief Sr. Comr. Riad, they confiscated 800 grams of heroin, 500 grams of Marijuana and 11 kilograms of methamphetamine(worth Rp 22 Million) during a raid in Serpong, South Tangerang on 2 February 2015. Both heroin and meth were seized from the smugglers by Airport Customs of South Tangerang, said Riad.
Not an Isolated Incident
This bizarre incident is not the first one of a kind where the police caused drama rather than solving the drug smuggling issue with its naïve move. There are many incidents similar to this one, which became a topic of laughter for people worldwide. In a similar incident where a pile of drugs were set ablaze, Quentin Sommerville, a BBC Middle East correspondent, couldn’t control his giggles after inhaling the fumes from the burning pile of drugs behind him. He tried to compose himself and deliver his lines before bursting into giggles with his cameraman. The clip went viral and did rounds on the internet soon after it was shot. Sommerville also tweeted the video on his Twitter handle, saying, “Dear tweeps, it’s been a year of bullets and bloodshed. You’ve earned a Xmas laugh, at my expense”.
Here’s another CNN Journalist, Randi Kaye’s video, where she unintentionally got high on drugs during the Colorado marijuana legalization report.
Why Did The Police Burn The Drugs Which Served as Evidence?
Indonesian police didn’t just burn the illegal pile of drugs but also ignited the evidence in the incinerator in front of the 18 prime suspects of the Indonesian drug smuggling racket, which captivated a lot of public attention. This left the people questioning as to why the officials decided to burn the evidence of drug smuggling racket in the middle of the district without informing the residents or taking strict safety measures? Did the smugglers bribe them for destroying the evidence, or were they trying to teach those smugglers a lesson? Some reports even suggested that the police did not really burn the illegal drugs or just burned a small percentage of them which presents a possibility of them reselling the remaining drugs to the states where it is legal. However, the truth never really came out.
Many states in the US have achieved drug liberalization much before 2015, making the supply and possession of illegal drugs possible. The government legally controls it, just like alcohol or tobacco. Many health experts swear by the potential benefits of the drugs. Several studies suggest that drugs can contribute to the social and mental health benefits if used in the prescribed quantities. However, many people still argue that using drugs is unhealthy and unfit for society as it can add to the already climbing crime rate.
Legalization of marijuana is still a hot topic of debate around the world. But the Indonesian police sure gave a pot party treat to the residents of Tangerang by burning this massive pile of drugs.