In Indonesia there is article 112 that prohibits the possession of narcotics, this carries a minimum sentence of 4 years. Then there is article 127 which prohibits using narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 4 years and requires the offender goes to rehabilitation.

I think this is very strange because those who use must also possess.

In practice the punishment for usage varies a lot. Someone who bribes the cops can get charged by article 127 and be told to do rehabilitation. Of course, given that 84% of users of narcotics are not even addicted, they will just have to go to rehabilitation.

On the other hand, poor people get more than 4 years because they get charged with article 112. Around 70% of jail in Indonesia is filled with drug users while being charged with dealing is actually rare.

Is this a deliberate policy by the government? Is this common in other countries? Why isn't possession with the intent to distribute defined in the law?

  • 2
    FYI, questions asking for the internal motivations of people [...] are off-topic, because answers would be based on speculation and their correctness could not be verified with sources available to the public. As are too broad questions. Not downvoting or voting to close since I'm presuming you're from the area and people questioning this on public forums isn't necessarily commonplace. But consider rephrasing your question and breaking it down into smaller questions so it's less broad and more answerable with factual information. Mar 27, 2019 at 16:44
  • 2
    The problem you are describing isn't the law but corruption and unequal application of the law. Fix the root problem, not the symptoms.
    – Polygnome
    Mar 27, 2019 at 18:21
  • also asked on law.se law.stackexchange.com/questions/37950/…
    – James K
    Mar 27, 2019 at 21:42
  • I do not think the question is suitable for law of stackexchange because it's more about why the laws are like this and whether this is common. It's not what the laws are. I also ask if laws in other countries are like this and I do not know whether it's suitable for politic or law. It is possible as @Polygnome suggested that corruption and unequal application of the law is a factor. However, the law itself is very vague and allow so much leeway. I wonder if it's deliberately made vague or if there is any other more benign factor
    – user24251
    Mar 28, 2019 at 5:40
  • About internal motivation of people. To what extend that is not on topic? For example, many ask why Rusia attack findland, for example. Well. That's internal motivation right?
    – user24251
    Mar 28, 2019 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


In order to punish the dealers as well as the users of drugs.

If a person is selling Heroin in the street, the person does not use the drug. Thus, if only the use was an offense, then dealers would go free.

  • 2
    This doesn't explain why you need a separate law to criminalize use when you already have a law which criminalizes possession. The point of the question was that use implies possession, so anyone who is caught using drugs is automatically also caught possessing drugs.
    – Philipp
    Mar 28, 2019 at 12:54
  • Precisely Philipp. In fact, in US, is using narcotic even a crime?
    – user4951
    Jun 12, 2019 at 14:06

You must log in to answer this question.