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Posted at: Jul 27, 2018, 1:22 AM; last updated: Jul 27, 2018, 1:22 AM (IST)

MP for debate on legalising ‘soft’ drugs

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26

Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi has demanded an early discussion in Parliament on his Private Member Bill seeking legalisation of “soft” drugs in the country. Dr Gandhi has also sought an amendment to the NDPS Act, besides pushing for a debate on the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

He said the legislative branch of Parliament had cleared the Bill, but it was pending for discussion. He said he had recently met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Dr Gandhi has been arguing for a couple of years that “soft” drugs like poppy husk, opium and marijuana should be made legally available to control the drug mafia in the country.

He said most of the drugs were made illegal by the NDPS Act, 1985, which was enacted to meet the then UN conventions on drug policy. “But 30 years down the line, where do we stand? The fact of the matter is that the Act has failed in achieving its professed goals,” he said.

He said the war on drugs had led to the creation of a dangerous drug mafia, scores of human rights violations and loss of innumerable lives. As the common man’s recreational substances were made unavailable, the newer, more potent, addictive and dangerous alternative drugs flooded the markets, he claimed.

He demanded that it was time to treat drug abuse and addiction as a health issue that it is, instead of treating it as a crime against society.


Dr Gandhi’s Argument

As the common man’s recreational substances are made unavailable, the newer, more potent, addictive and dangerous alternative drugs have flooded the markets.

The proposal

  • The sale of “soft” drugs such as opium, poppy husk and marijuana to consumers from government approved shops.
  • The Centre should fix from time to time the price to be paid to the cultivator, producer, manufacturer or synthesiser for any hard drugs delivered.
  • The “soft” drugs intended for sale at government approved shops be labelled with their weight, quality, potency and consistency.

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