THE CHANGING DRUG POLICIES : AN OVERVIEW
Living in the 21st century, drug is becoming a word is used very casually. It is indeed a very commonly used product in the society as well. The laws of various countries in the world have made drugs illegal yet they seem to appear for sale in the underground markets. There is a certain rise of use of drugs mainly among students. Many developed countries are making the use of drugs legal nowadays for certain purposes. When a person says that he has not tried any drug then he deems to be previewed as a judgmental or old-fashioned person. Drugs have been used for multiple purposes including medical and psychological uses and were once legal no matter how hard the drug was. This article mainly focuses on the drug policies in the world in general as well as in India.
DRUGS AND ITS ILL-EFFECTS:
Drugs and its addiction is a huge problem that affects millions of people around the world. This harms not only drug addicts, but also their families and society as a whole. In this article, we’ll look at the different aspects of drug addiction and the steps you can take to prevent and treat it.
Drug addiction is a complex disease that affects an individual’s brain and behavior. It is characterized by the compulsive seeking and use of drugs without regard to the harmful consequences.Addiction is caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, environment, and personal circumstances. Drug addiction can take different types, such as alcoholism, opioid addiction, cocaine addiction, and marijuana addiction. Drug addiction is a major social problem that affects people from all walks of life. This can lead to a host of negative consequences, including health problems, financial problems, legal problems, and social problems. It can also affect the addict’s family, causing emotional distress and financial burden.Drug prevention is essential to reduce the harm caused by drugs. Prevention efforts can focus on everything from education, community engagement and policy change. Education can help individuals understand the dangers of drug use and make informed decisions about drug use. Community engagement can help prevent drug use by providing a supportive environment and promoting healthy behaviors. Policy changes can help reduce drug use by limiting access to drugs and providing treatment and support for drug users.
DRUG POLICY IN THE WORLD
With governments pursuing a variety of tactics to restrict drug use, distribution, and trafficking, drug policy has become an important concern for many nations throughout the world. Yet, there has been a lot of discussion and criticism around drug policies over the years. Criminalization and punishment are some of the most widely used drug policy strategies. In many nations, it is against the law to use or possess drugs, and those who do so face fines or even prison time. Punitive drug laws, however, have not been found to be successful in lowering drug use or the harms associated with it, according to research. Instead, they have increased the incidence of incarceration, having a disproportionately negative impact on underprivileged populations and sustaining racial and social inequality.Many nations have investigated alternate strategies in response to the shortcomings of conventional drug policy. Harm reduction is one strategy that seeks to lessen the harmful effects of drug usage. Providing access to clean needles, medications that prevent overdoses, and addiction treatment are a few examples of harm reduction measures. Harm reduction recognises that drug use is a complicated problem that cannot be resolved exclusively by prohibition and punishment.
Legalization is yet another alternate drug policy strategy. In order to make drugs legal, criminal sanctions for drug use and possession must be removed, and drug manufacturing, distribution, and sales must be governed. While several other nations have legalised cannabis for medical purposes, only Uruguay and Canada have made it legal for recreational use.By removing the criminal market and guaranteeing that drugs are produced and dispensed safely, legalisation has the potential to lower drug-related harms. Concerns exist, though, regarding the potential drawbacks of legalising, such as an increase in drug usage and addiction.The United Nations’ efforts to create a worldwide framework for drug policy have an impact on international drug policy as well. These agreements are made to encourage international collaboration in reducing drug supply and demand. However, the efficiency of these accords has been contested, with some contending that they continue harsh drug policies and give priority to the interests of strong nations. The criminalisation of drug consumption and possession for personal use has led to negative consequences for the health, security, and human rights of individuals and communities worldwide. It drives those most in need away from vital health interventions or places them in prison with significant implications for public health. Criminalisation fuels incarceration rates, overcrowded prisons and overtaxed criminal justice systems, placing individuals at increased risk of arbitrary detention and inhuman or degrading treatment while incarcerated. Treating drug possession for personal use as a crime intensifies discrimination. Individuals are in increased conflict with the law, which lowers their chances for employment, education and other opportunities for social inclusion. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) reviews and analyzes the global drug situation, considering the interrelated issues of prevention of drug abuse, rehabilitation of drug users and supply and trafficking in illicit drugs. It takes action through resolutions and decisions.
Moreover, it should be noted that drug policy is a complicated and dynamic topic that necessitates a thorough comprehension of the myriad problems related to drug usage. The effectiveness of traditional drug policies centred on criminalization and punishment has been demonstrated to be low, and they frequently contribute to inequality. Alternate strategies for minimising drug-related harms and treating drug use as a public health problem include harm reduction, decriminalisation, and legalization. The creation of drug policy necessitates an openness to novel approaches to this urgent societal issue.
EVOLUTION OF DRUG POLICY IN INDIA:
A number of adjustments that have been made over the years have contributed to India’s evolving drug policy. Prior to independence, India’s drug policy was mostly unrestricted. The use of opium and cannabis, both for therapeutic and recreational purposes, was widespread in the nation. The Indian Hemp Medicines Committee Report, which advocated for regulating the cultivation and distribution of opium and cannabis, was adopted by the British government in 1857.
Upon its independence, India put in place a number of laws and rules to regulate the manufacture, sale, and distribution of pharmaceuticals. The 1940 passage of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act was intended to control the importation, production, distribution, and sale of medicines. The Act created rules for the labelling and packaging of pharmaceuticals as well as a system for the licencing of drug traffickers and producers.
India ratified the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances in 1961. Opium, morphine, and cocaine were among the narcotic narcotics that the Convention sought to regulate in terms of manufacture, usage, and distribution. In order to control the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of narcotic drugs, India had to enact a national drug control system as a signatory to the Convention.
The Opium Act of 1857 was replaced by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), which was passed in 1985. The NDPS Act sought to offer a thorough framework for drug control throughout the nation. Drugs were divided into three categories under the Act: narcotics, psychotropic substances, and controlled substances. The Act also established strict rules for their production, distribution, and use.
The Medicines and Cosmetics Act, the NDPS Act, and several other laws and regulations currently govern India’s drug policy. The NDPS Act calls for the creation of a Narcotics Control Bureau to carry out the nation’s drug regulations. The Act also establishes rules for the rehabilitation and treatment of drug users.An increasingly widespread understanding of the necessity of a more comprehensive approach to drug policy in India has emerged in recent years. The construction of de-addiction facilities and the promotion of alternative livelihoods for drug farmers are only a couple of the actions the government has taken to combat the problem of drug misuse.
India’s drug policy has drawbacks. The government’s low funding has made it difficult for it to successfully administer drug legislation and offer sufficient treatment for drug addicts. Due to this, there is insufficient infrastructure, skilled employees, and funding to effectively combat the drug problem.The success of India’s drug strategy has been seriously hampered by corruption in law enforcement organizations. As a result, drug trafficking has been permitted to continue unabatedly because corrupt officials are turning a blind eye to the issue.By making drug users criminals, a large number of people have been imprisoned, which has led to social stigma and prejudice against them. Moreover, this has caused the overcrowding of prisons, which further makes the problem worse.
A number of adjustments that have been made over the years have contributed to India’s evolving drug policy. Although India’s drug policy has advanced significantly from the country’s pre-independence days, much more needs to be done to combat the problem of drug usage there. In the future, it will be crucial for the government to implement a more comprehensive drug strategy that emphasises the necessity of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. he government’s drug policy has contributed to a decrease in the availability of narcotics in India. The major law governing drug policy in India is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, which aims to reduce drug trafficking, possession, and usage.To inform the populace of the risks associated with drug usage, the government has launched awareness programmes. This has contributed to raising awareness of the negative consequences of medications and lowering the demand for them.For drug addicts, the government has set up treatment facilities. This has aided in the rehabilitation of drug users and the decline in drug-related crimes.
This article has been written by Roshni S, a Penultimate law student, Kerala Law Academy Law College, Trivandrum.