By Nay Phyo Win

The Upper House has approved a bill to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law of 1993 that would effectively decriminalise drug use in Burma.

According to the legislation as amended, drug users would no longer be punished with often-lengthy jail sentences and would be required to perform community service instead. The Ministry of Home Affairs has said it will tackle issues of narcotics use and addiction in accordance with whatever terms the amended law ultimately stipulates, should it see passage through both houses of Parliament.

“It has been approved [by the Upper House] that offences under the law have been changed to community service. The amended law is the most suitable one, since MPs and experts have contributed to the comprehensiveness of it,” said Major-General Aung Soe, the deputy minister for Home Affairs. “In the implementation of every law, there may be both strengths and weaknesses. We [the Ministry of Home Affairs] will undertake enforcement measures as stipulated by the law.”

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Thumbnail Flickr CC Mari Wirta