The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (the NDPS Act)-The Indian express-01-09-202
Bhang, ganja, and criminality in the NDPS Act, punishment is based on the number of drugs seized.
What is bhang?
Bhang is the edible preparation made from the leaves of the cannabis plant, often incorporated into drinks such as thandai and lassi, along with various foods. Bhang has been consumed in the Indian subcontinent for centuries and is frequently consumed during the festivals of Holi and Mahashivratri.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (the NDPS Act) was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to narcotic drugs, to make stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operation relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, to provide for the forfeiture of property derived from, or used in, illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and to implement the provisions of the International Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and for matters connected therewith.
Enacted in 1985, the NDPS Act is the primary legislation that deals with drugs and their trafficking. Various provisions of the Act punish the production, manufacture, sale, possession, consumption, purchase, transport, and use of banned drugs, except for medical and scientific purposes.
The NDPS Act defines cannabis (hemp) as a narcotic drug based on the parts of the plant that come under its purview. The Act lists these parts as:
(a) Charas: The separated resin, in whatever form, whether crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant and also includes concentrated preparation and resin known as hashish oil or liquid hashish.
(b) Ganja: The flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops), by whatever name they are known or designated.
(c) Any mixture, with or without any neutral material, of any of the above forms of cannabis or any drink prepared from there. The Act, in its definition, excludes seeds and leaves “when not accompanied by the tops”. Bhang, made with plant leaves, is not mentioned in the NDPS Act.
Section 20 of the NDPS Act lays out the punishment for the production, manufacture, sale, purchase, import and inter-state export of cannabis, as defined in the Act. The prescribed punishment is based on the number of drugs seized.
-100g to 1kg –fine of 10k with one year of imprisonment.
-1kg-10kg –fine up to 1lakhs to 2lakhs and 10-year imprisonment.
Government initiatives against drug addiction :
The Narco Coordination centre (NARCOD) was constituted in 2016 and the scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control” was revived.
Seizure Information Management System: Narcotics Control Bureau has been provided funds for developing a new software i.e. Seizure Information Management System (SIMS) which will create a complete online database of drug offences and offenders.
National Drug Abuse Survey: The government is also conducting a National Drug Abuse Survey to measure trends of drug abuse in India through the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment with the help of the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS.
Project Sunrise: It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016, to tackle the rising HIV cases in north-eastern states in India, especially among people injecting drugs.
NDPS Act: It prohibits a person from producing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transporting, storing, and/or consuming any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
Nasha Mukt Bharat: Government has also announced the launch of the Nasha Mukt Bharat or Drug-Free India Campaign which focuses on community outreach programs.