Uganda: New Narcotics Bill risks exacerbating 'drug-addiction issue'

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Uganda: New Narcotics Bill risks exacerbating 'drug-addiction issue'

12 September 2023
Geofrey Sserugo
The Observer Uganda

On August 22, 2023, parliament passed the contentious Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Bill. However, the full enactment of this legislation awaits the assent of President Museveni.

The passing of this bill has already ignited widespread controversy, particularly concerning the various clauses that prescribe severe penalties for the possession and distribution of banned narcotics.

Twaibu Wamala, the executive director of the Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN), is a critic of the bill and asserts that it falls short of effectively addressing the underlying issues associated with drug addiction. In an interview with Geofrey Serugo, he says punitive laws alienate people from crucial health and social services.