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Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985: A Commentary

NCJ Number
Indian Journal of Social Work Volume: 50 Issue: 1 Dated: (January 1989) Pages: 119-124
R Pinto
Date Published
8 pages
Professed aims of the Act are to strengthen the existing controls over drugs of abuse; considerably to enhance the penalties, particularly for trafficking offenses; and to make provisions for the implementation of international conventions relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to which India has become a party.
The Act covers most aspects of the problem including the power of the government to modify without waiting for amendment such provisions as the list of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Salient features include a blanket ban on cultivation of cocoa plant, opium poppy, or cannabis and on manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, warehousing, use, import, or export. Violations are punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years and a fine. Lesser punishments are mandated for illegal possession in small quantities for personal consumption. Limitations of the Act include relaxation of the rules and punishment for offenses connected with Ganja. No distinction is made between a user or addict and a pusher or trafficker and little distinction is made between the kingpin and the small-time pusher at sentencing.