OPINION - Editorial

High calling

The quest for a higher calling has been usurped by the pull of a quick high.

Every monk in a Thai temple has been defrocked after testing positive for meth, CBS reports. We'll just let that marinate for a second.

A temple in central Thailand now is left without spiritual intermediaries, and the four monks who previously served there, including the abbot, have been sent to a clinic for rehab. New monks are on their way, local officials say.

Meth is one of the devil's most effective tools, and though monks--or priests, or pastors, or rabbis, or imams--may answer a divine call, they're people first. And as the news reminds us each and every day, people come in various states of condition, good and bad.

The Thai monks succumbed to "yaba," the Thai term for street meth that comes in pill form and costs around 20 baht, which translates to about 50 cents. An official from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime told a Thai paper that meth, particularly yaba, can easily be found on every street corner in Thailand. Supply is up, he stressed.

Demand doesn't appear to be lacking either. In recent months, record seizures of meth have been made across the globe and the drug is a particular problem in southeast Asia, where meth flows through Thailand from Myanmar and Laos.

Since July, officials have seized more than 5,000 pounds of meth in southern California; almost 1.5 tons of meth and 328 pounds of powdered fentanyl in Mexico's northern state of Sonora; 2 tons of meth hidden in marble tiles shipped from the Middle East to Sydney, Australia, in the largest-ever drug bust there; and in Hong Kong, 1.8 metric tons of liquid meth hidden in cartons of coconut water bound for Australia.

We trust the monks who strayed from the path will find mercy and release from addiction. The path will be there, waiting for them. Unfortunately, so will the yaba peddlers.

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