Last month, the Government of India announced its first ever policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. The much awaited document was expected to provide strategic direction to drug control and harmonise the various programmes of Central and State government agencies including abstinence driven demand reduction and health orientated harm reduction.
In their submissions to the Government, civil society organizations had urged that the policy be guided by evidence and display sufficient flexibility in confronting the challenges of illicit cultivation, street crime and drug use in prisons. Instead, the policy takes a narrow and constricted stance and fails to explore legal options that would have allowed drug related problems to be addressed more effectively.
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