‘Legalise opium, marijuana’: Dr Gandhi to move bill in Parliament to change law
Taking forward his call to decriminalise poppy husk, opium and marijuana, Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi will move a private member’s bill in the monsoon session of Parliament to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 for it.
A draft has been prepared by a group of Delhi-based lawyers and professionals, said Dr Gandhi, who won on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket but remains currently suspended from the party due to differences with the leadership. “Discussions on the bill will be held among politicians, lawyers, psychiatrists, academicians, activists, drug users, religious leaders and media personalities this weekend to elicit their opinions and give it a final shape,” he said.
“This amendment can legalise common recreational drugs like bhukki (poppy husk), bhang (marijuana) and afeem (opium). Also, the law should treat drug addicts as patients, not criminals,” he added. The NDPS Act was enacted to meet the UN conventions on drug policy, he said, “but the miserable failure of punitive measures to combat drug supply occurred as the demand saw exponential growth, leading to creation of mafias that ensure continual supply regardless of the harshest punishment provisions”.
He also cited that many countries had seen over the years that by decriminalising certain substances that pose minimal health risks, and by following harm-reduction policies, “the demand for harmful and killing medical and synthetic nasha (intoxicants/drugs) has dropped drastically, along with the offences committed”.
Though not naming Punjab, he said, “Certain Indian states are currently facing a massive drug problem, with citizens between 15-40 years of age habitually abusing drugs, and this has caused considerable harm to society in general and youth in particular.”
The objective, he said, is also to demolish “the nexus of politicians, police and peddlers, who are spreading the menace of harmful artificial and synthetic drugs into the blood of youth in the country which has succeeded in substituting the common man’s recreational drugs like opium, opium husk and bhang”.
Canada-based filmmaker Leena Manimekalai shared the poster of 'Kaali' on the microblogging website, Twitter, on Saturday and said the documentary was part of the 'Rhythms of Canada' segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. It triggered widespread fury on social media and prompted the Indian High Commission in Toronto to ask the authorities in Canada for removal of the posters.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by Tata Motors, challenging the disqualification of their bids for supplying 1,400 electric buses to the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport. The HC also held that the decision of the civic undertaking to approve bids of Evey Trans company to supply 2,100 electric buses was incorrect and that BEST should consider conducting a new tender process.
In a first, the Delhi police have started registration of the devotees taking part in 'Kanwar Yatra' to enable better coordination among different authorities to provide assistance and facilitation for the pilgrimage. The yatra, which takes place during the Hindu month of Shrawan, is scheduled to begin from July 14 this year. Suman Nalwa, the deputy commissioner of police (public relations), said that the devotees can register themselves at kavad.delhipolice.gov.in through their mobile phones.
Four people were killed in two accidents in Mandi and Shimla districts on Tuesday. Three workers were killed and one was seriously hurt after the pillar of a gate fell on a tipper truck in the Khaliyar locality of Mandi town. The dead were identified as Rishav Kaushik of Mandi, Gurchain Singh of Rupnagar district and Vinod Kumar of Purnea district in Bihar. Locals informed the police after which a rescue operation was launched.
A Mansa court sent four accused, including two shooters, in the Sidhu Moose Wala murder case to eight-day remand of the Punjab Police's special investigation team hours after they were brought from Delhi on transit remand on Tuesday. The court sent them into police custody till July 13. Punjab Police arrested them in the Moose Wala murder case after taking permission from the Delhi court, which also granted the transit remand.