NARCOTIC DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES (NDPS) ACT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health & Governance)

News-CRUX-10     11th September 2023        

Context: With the Himachal Pradesh government inching closer to legalise cannabis (hemp) cultivation in the State, growers are upbeat and optimist about getting an economic boost. It is produced in parts of Himachal Pradesh though it is illegal under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

Narcotic Drugs and Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985:

  • About: The NDPS Act, 1985 is the principal legislation through which the state regulates the operations of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • Amendment: Initially enacted in 1985, the Act was amended four times in 1988, 2001, 2014 and 2021.
  • Application: The Act extends to the whole of India and it applies also to all Indian citizens outside India and to all persons on ships and aircraft registered in India.
  • Prohibition: It prohibits a person the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
  • Penalties: Section 27A of the NDPS Act, 1985, prescribes the punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders.

o Section 27 makes drug consumption a punishable offence that can attract a fine of Rs 10,000 and imprisonment of six months or both. Bail provisions are also quite stringent.

  • NDPS Act and Cannabis: The NDPS Act defines cannabis (hemp) as a narcotic drug based on the parts of the plant that come under its purview.
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