Narcotic is defined in the dictionary as an addictive drug affecting mood or behavior, especially an illegal one. It triggers various emotions in the body, causing drowsiness. Narcotics are most commonly used by people to reduce severe pain and, therefore, are known as pain relievers. If they are used carefully under a health care provider’s direct care, then these can be proved quite effective in reducing pain to a certain level. If it is used more than a permissible limit, a person can even die from an overdose of such drugs. Examples include illicit drug heroin and pharmaceutical drugs like Morphine, Fentanyl, Methadone, Oxycodone, Codeine, and Hydrocodone.
India’s long history of cannabis and opium use is referenced extensively in policy analysis. Decriminalization of drugs means that consuming drugs under permissible limits would no longer be considered as a wrongful criminal act, and we would be able to use these drugs for improving public health and safety said by the various governments of different countries. Consumption of drugs in India is illegal and results in a jail term of up to six months or one year and/or a fine, depending on the substance consumed.
NARCOTICS: FACTUAL STATISTICS
It is anticipated that the number of disease cases will increment definitely by 2020 because of biting paan masala and other related materials—tongue-related malignant growth: 81,200 (60,333 of every 2015); mouth-related malignancy: 1,28,451 (89,645 out of 2015); throat-related disease 20,948 (19,700 out of 2015). The Government of India has authorized a wasteful law called COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act), which forces a 200 Rs fine on an individual got with any transfer of tobacco material. The need of great importance is to prohibit these tobacco items from society. Kerala is the central state where these items have been restricted totally. Over the most recent one year, almost 1,000 tons of these items have been seized and decimated. It is bizarre to praise authorizing drugs when the World Health Organization revealed that tobacco, liquor, and illegal alcohol represent 8.7 percent, 3.8 percent, and 0.4 percent of all passing individually. States are making a solid move and subsequently containing the threat of medications. Kerala alone has held onto medications to the tune of 1,000 crores in the last one and half years. The states that have acted carefully against drugs are Punjab, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
Adolescent drug abuse is one of the significant areas of concern in adolescents and young people’s behavior. It is estimated that, in India, by the time most boys reach the ninth grade, about 50 percent of them have tried at least one of the substances of abuse nature.
WHY PEOPLE CONSUME DRUGS?
Drugs are poison, and the number of narcotics one consumes determine the effects. People consume drugs to change something about their lives, not knowing that drugs can, in literal terms, destroy their lives. People start taking drugs to fit in, escape and relax, relieve boredom, thinking that drugs are the solution, but eventually, drugs and addiction towards it becomes the problem. Drugs are now banned in most countries, and stringent laws are made if someone is found in possession of drugs. Today, no part of the world is free from the curse of drug trafficking and drug addiction. Millions of drug addicts, all over the world, are leading miserable lives, India too is caught during this vicious circle of substance abuse, and therefore the numbers of drug addicts are increasing day by day. According to a UN report, one million heroin addicts are registered in India, and unofficially there are as many as five million.
THE EMERGENCE OF NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Bill, 1985, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 23 August 1985. It was passed by both the Houses of Parliament, received permission from then President Giani Zail Singh, and came into force on 14 November 1985. Cannabis smoking in India has been known since at least 2000 BC and is first mentioned in the Atharvaveda, which dates back a few hundred years BC.
This Act enacted with stringent provisions to curb the menace of drug trafficking on both national and international levels. The Act envisages a minimum term of 10 years imprisonment long to 20 years and fine of Rs—one lakh long up to Rs. 2 lakhs for the offenders.
A comprehensive strategy involving specific programs to originate the various government agencies and NGOs have evolved overall associate reduction in the use of medicine. It is additionally supplemented by measures like education, counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.
DECRIMINALIZATION OF NARCOTICS: TO BE OR NOT TO BE?
It has become stylish these days to refer to the names of spots from various pieces of the existence where medications like pot have been authorized—presumably submitting a general direction to this sort of data and misconception it, a couple of held showings in individual pieces of Kerala on the side of the alleged authorization of medications, which has as of late been done in certain conditions of the US. They are accentuating that the equivalent should now be done in India. Be that as it may, it will be heartbreaking and self-destructive if any unwinding is made in India, and the medications are authorized. It will build the degree of chronic drug use as the substances would then become undeniably more effectively accessible.
Legitimization of medications seems like the accompanying expression: If you can’t beat them, go along with them. It would seem that as though we have acknowledged destruction because of the medication sellers. Tomorrow another arrangement of individuals could state let pickpocketers not be gotten as these episodes are too much, so let us focus just on shocking violations like homicide and assault and not make a fuss over minor wrongdoings.
The utilization of medications is, as of now, playing devastation with the general wellbeing of Indians. Because of continued medication use, individuals kick the bucket in India consistently. Biting containers and other related materials like zarda, gutka, and khaini have opened the conduits for oral malignant growth. In 2016 destructive growth event rose pointedly with many experiencing the said disease. Incredibly, in any event, two lakh new oral fatal growth cases are being accounted for in India consistently. These tobacco items, as referenced above, make the primary phase of malignant growth in and around the mouth or tongue or throat.
Actualizing the procedure of sanctioning of medications in India would be close to unthinkable. Who will conclude who someone who is addicted is? Who is simply a tenderfoot? What level of ganja ought to be given to a friend? And so on. In a nation of 137 crore individuals, it will be an unrealistic undertaking. Medication authorization can be simple in a country where the populace is two lakhs, not here.
We need to make our current laws that battle medicates increasingly exacting. At present, these laws are slack. For instance, under the NDPS, anybody got with under 1 kg of ganja can quickly get temporarily free from jail; that guilty party resumes deal, appropriation, or utilization of ganja from the next second itself. The case probably won’t come okay with hearing for even five years. We need to defeat these weaknesses. Legitimizing drugs in India would resemble getting into a sticky situation. It won’t convey any attractive outcomes. Instead, it will aggravate the current disarray. We need to have more strict and stringent laws to vanish the problem of drug abuse completely.
The government of India should not decriminalize the use of drugs as it can further lead to more consumption of medicines by adolescents. Legitimizing the utilization of ganja in India won’t be an answer to the issue. Regardless of whether it is done gently in the first place, addicts will request unwinding and the sanctioning of other concoction substances like heroin, earthy colored sugar, and so on. It will be an eternal cycle, and we would make a fool of ourselves. Because of the elevated levels of education and high expectations for everyday comforts in the US, Canada, and Europe, the legislatures may have gone for the legitimization of weed, beginning the procedure whereby addicts diminish their portions gradually, at long last halting the use through and through. In India, the education rate is similarly low, and the school dropout rate is high. So, the understudies and young people may consider authorization to be ganja as a godsent open door for them to get it handily. Truth be told, legitimization could bait new youngsters to drugs.
Author: Purvi Raheja
Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Delhi