Drug addiction, one of the most unwanted profanity, is the hot potato curse on growing and developing countries. No matter at what pace particular country is growing or getting closer to development but if it’s not getting rid of evil “drug abuse” one can’t reach a point of development, because the drug is acting like a termite, a parasite which dwells deep under the root so being invisible from the upper surface and seeming everything normal but simultaneously from deep down, from the root they are decaying the society. Drug abuse and it’s illegal trafficking is striking on the chief component of society’s development that is youth, teenagers and nowadays juveniles too which is more alarming. This drug trafficking/addiction not only gives an adverse impact on the life of the individual but also of their family and dependents which may include unborn children and which might give an adverse impact on the upcoming generations. This is very unfortunate that when one who should be the stepping Stones for development are being now acting as stumbling blocks for. Drugs like heroin, opium, hashish, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ketamine Percocet etc are the main demons swallowing the word development.
Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenceless. The only way out of that hopeless state is the intervention.” -Robert Downey Jr.
How did India get in drug trap?
According to records around some 800 years ago, the Arab Merchants embarked India and introduced the Opium drug which was that time used as the medicine for curing the disease like pain Killing effects but later on, the people started consuming for there personal fun purpose and slowly and steadily people started getting addicted toward these drugs. Later when Britishers embarked India then they saw a profitable trade of opium as India was best in the cultivation of opium at that time due to humid and warm environment, which is required for cultivation.
Taking advantage of addictive people and poor farmers soon Britishers started exporting the Opium to the other countries and China was the first client of the drug and they imported about 14 Tons of the Opium drug in the same year. But due to high mortality rate due to drugs, in 1729 China imposed a partial ban on the illegal use of the Opium drug as they didn’t ban the import. And by seeing this action of china in 1793 Indian Government also banned the Opium but the British East India Company took over the control of the cultivation of the Opium in India and make sure that export of the Opium remains to flourish. And now the Britishers were making a good profit and were expanding overall in the country. But soon In 1799 when China banned import too then soon illegal smuggling/trafficking started and when China opposed this illegal import then in 1839-1842 the First Opium War was fought between China and the British army which also included Indian army and after China’s defeat in first opium war they gave up the ban on the import and again the trade between China and India of the Opium resumed. But again China thought of war and finally, after being defeated in the Second Opium War in 1857 China was forced to legalized the trade of the opium. And soon Britishers enacted the Opium Act, 1877 and taken the control over the manufacturing and exportation of opium and now the final controller of the cultivation of opium poppy, it’s manufacturing, and its domestic sale and export were Britishers.
In 1912, the Hague International Opium Convention was held by the Britishers. wherein this convention they signed the treaty that wherever the territory is captured or ruled by them the use of the Opium will remain effective, in the terms of manufacturing and the trade. But the time is taken slip and in 1920, India partially banned, the use of Opium as more than a “Tola” i.e. 10 grams of the opium is declared as illegal to possess. Soon In 1930, the Colonial government enacted Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 which imposes the complete seize in the practice of Consumption of the Opium but this was again partial ban as it was permitted in the use of medicinal purpose.
In that time only in Punjab, Sikh militancy got their involvement in the drug trafficking case and Wagah-Attari border was repeatedly used by the traffickers for exporting and importing drugs and after Shimla agreement in 1976 when 1971 war was normalized then at that time “Samjhauta Express” train was inaugurated and again traffickers got a new opportunity for trafficking Illegal drugs along the cross border Pakistan to India. And soon India was involved heavily in drug trafficking.
Causes of Drug addiction
Drug addiction– The most drug-addicted sector population between 16 – 30 years and so though youths, teenagers and juveniles are costing arms and legs to social development but then also they are not being handled with care by society and government like for example if one child or teen who is getting to drugs for the reasons like stress, depression, low self-esteem, peer pressure or etc, instead of rehabilitating them the society boycott them and treat them as inherently “malice kids” which is acting adversely and in place of good reform they go deep down in well of narcotism, which is most harmful to society only. But now slowly and gradually the things are changing, which the time demands and now steadily the government is taking actions and society is taking steps for the betterment of the peers, teens, youth who have stuck in the mud of narcotism. Many NGOs like elixir foundations hope foundations etc are working toward the betterment of society and uplifting the youth and teens from the unwanted fake mirage world of drugs and showing them new better ways to deal with it.
It may be ironic the country like India, which is acting as the epitome of developing era, is most vulnerable to drug addiction and abuse which is hindering the development in either way and most distressing truth is that vulnerable section of the society, ‘the youths and teens’ which should be far from drug world are nowadays sinking in the terrible dark word of narcotics which is now the more alarming situation of India.
Laws in India for Drug Trafficking
As per the state-wise NCRB data, Punjab has emerged at the top position with 10,220 registered cases in 2012 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 6,755 cases, Maharashtra, 1,903 cases, Tamil Nadu, 1,402 cases and Rajasthan with 1,115 cases which are overall alarming for developing country like India.
If we talk about the essential drug policies and laws in India then we have to trace back the constitution in the mid-1980s. The first law to deal with the illegal narcotic world was formulated in 1985, THE NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985 also known as NDPS Act. In August 1985 the NDPS bill was presented before the Lok Sabha and latter were ratified and passed by both the organs of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya sabha) and after getting the approval, assent and nod from the president on 16 September 1985, finally the bill was law and was ready to roll out to take actions against illegal narcotics.
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Bill, 1985 made it illegal for individuals to manufacture, cultivate, possess, purchase, sell, transport and even consume illegal drugs within the boundaries of India.
This step footing of law in the world of illegal narcotics to curb the unlawful activities, which was flowing wildly, unruly and was being out of control. later as the time passed the demonic structure of drug abuse and addiction was growing and so law too. Many amendments and advancement in NDPS 1985 laws were executed so that the country can be free from the handcuffs of illicit and illegal and can stretch its arm to grab prosperity.
The NDPS 1985 law was amended thrice till now. First in 1988 then I’m 2001 and most recently in 2014.
We all have both pros and cons of one thing, similarly, the world is developing with the help of drugs and on other hand getting destroyed due to drugs. Drugs are something which plays a very vital role in this issue. The drug is that element or medicine which acts as both the treatment and ill element. Many drugs are acting as pain relief and on other hand, the same drug is being misused for hallucinations and personal relief. So for this condition in late 2014 amendment created a class of medicine known as ESSENTIAL NARCOTICS DRUGS (END’s) so that a registered medical practitioner may possess essential narcotic drugs for use in his practice (but not for sale or distribution by the practitioners) for a period not exceeding 3 years which in consequence will curb the use of the illegal practice of drugs and subsequent power for legislation on ENDs have been shifted from State government to central government so that whole country can have uniform law covering the area of medicine which are needed for pain relief and other such uses.
Government has also created and established law enforcement and intelligence agencies in India to curb the evil. The first enforcement agency established was Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB ) formed in 1988 later many were established more like
- Narcotics Control Division
- Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN)
- :-Other Agencies like Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, Customs Commission, Border Security Force also formed to curb this illicit activity.
International Laws on Drug Trafficking
As the whole world is being engulfed by drug trafficking, countries like Brunei, Afghanistan, Malaysia are also booming in drug trafficking though they are not chief producers of drugs-Drug addiction.
Around 300 million worth of Malaysian ringgit dollar was seized in 2018 almost 30 percentage of total drug trafficking in the world. Main crucial point is that countries like Malaysia are not considered to be among drug-producing countries but it is acting as a junction point from where drugs are distributed in other countries. To get some drugs like heroin and all they need is to get those drugs on the platform of the global market. It needs to be transported from one country boundary to others and that to undetectably. Here comes the major, highlighted and importing role of median countries like Myanmar, which all acts like a junction which acts as a safe haven for import and export of drugs. This is how not only the countries involved directly into the drug trafficking system but indirectly getting in global drug trafficking system. The most famous are some parts like golden Crescent which includes Iran Afghanistan and Pakistan which is famous for illegal import and again export of heroin. And not only Asia and Europe are getting inside this trap but even major regions of Africa and other continent are also getting in.
Due to this increase in illicit and illegal drug trafficking, it was now creating enormous pressure on international agencies to act on this subject so soon three major international drug control treaties were established.
- The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (as amended in 1972),
- the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971,
- the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
All three treaties were mutually supportive and complementary with each other so dude to this the implications and outcomes were also healthy.
As the use of drugs is acting as a vital role in the health sector so in light of that 1961 and 1971 treaties main purpose was to codify internationally applicable control measures in order to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes only and not in illicit sectors.
The 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances extended its jurisdiction to establishing measures to combat illicit drug trafficking, use of drugs in money laundering and terror financing.
Later to control and regulate the crime independent and permanent body was established to monitor drug trafficking at the international platform “international Narcotics control board” which consisted of 13 members, who were elected for a tenure of 5 years by the economic and social council body of the UN.
The primary function of the body was to monitor the implementation of the conventions and, to give appropriate recommendations to States to curb illegal trafficking. Drug addiction.
Board gathers information on illicit trafficking and submits an annual report on developments in the world situation to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and to the Economic and Social Council which help them to take further action on the basis.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by merging the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna and was given a job in assisting other bodies in performing their treaty-based functions, and in assisting States Parties in the implementation of their obligations under the international drug control treaties by which overall the crime can be curbed.
As the world is creeping inside the well of the dark world of drug trafficking law and order is the only hope which can bring the world out of this dooming hell and can align on the path of prosperity by detaching this evil from society by punishing the one who is responsible for all this web and should take further actions so that this activity gets halted. Many international forums and platforms like international news channels are taking their stand so that they can make aware of such activities to coming youth as it is said: “precaution is better than cure”.
And last but not least even social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are helping to aware the generation which will help in future.
Written By:- Anish Sinha
Asian law College Noida
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