An Egyptian MP has proposed a draft law that would decriminalise the personal use of drugs, though the move has received a mixed response.

John Talaat, an independent MP and deputy governor of Cairo, has put forward draft legislation which would end the criminalisation of drug use, and offer people “treatment” instead. Talaat said this reform was necessarybecause “treatment is better” than “the cost that the state spends on [imprisonment]”. He also noted that many of those currently prosecuted for drug offences are young people, meaning that criminalisation is “wasting their future”.

Talaat suggested people found using drugs should receive “treatment ... for a period of time from 3 to 6 months, in order to address drug addiction” instead of incarceration, though he did not describe whether this would be mandatory.