AIZAWL, Oct 15 - Mizoram is mulling a stringent drug law to combat the worsening cross-border drug trafficking and abuse in the State.
The existing drug laws in the State, including Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Assam Drug (Control) Act, 1950, are found to be ineffective in tackling the problem and a weak deterrent.
Official sources said the new drug law titled The Mizoram Drug (Controlled Substances) Bill 2016 has been approved by the State Cabinet and is awaiting to be tabled in the next State Assembly session.
�Even though the Social Welfare department is the nodal agency in drafting the Bill, it will be enforced by the Excise & Narcotics, Police and Health departments,� Social Welfare Minister PC Lalthanliana said.
�The Bill has been drafted in such a way that it does not conflict with any existing drug law in India, but includes some provisions to suit the local drug problems,� he said.
It is felt that the rate of conviction in drug-related cases under the NDPS Act has been low due to the fact that the minimum imprisonment is ten years. Under the proposed Mizoram Drug (Controlled Substances) Bill 2016, the minimum imprisonment will be five years, officials said.
It is also felt that the NDPS Act is ineffective in dealing with ganja and pseudoephedrine in the context of Mizoram, and inhalant drugs, commonly abused in Mizoram, are not covered in the Act.
It is found that some drug license holders have exported huge amount of pseudo-ephedrine into Myanmar, where they are manufactured into methamphetamine, and easily escape conviction.
�Under the new drug law, Mizoram can declare any substance as controlled substance,� an official said. For instance, painkillers spasmo-proxyvon and parvon spas, which have killed more people than heroin did during the last two decades, are not controlled substances in the existing drug laws.
While pseudo-ephedrine tablets are being smuggled into Myanmar where they are manufactured into methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories mostly run by militants, heroin is being shipped from the neighbouring country.
The meth factories in Myanmar are partly fuelled by pseudoephedrine smuggled out from India, mainly through the North East.
�Pseudoephedrine is bought from other parts of India and smuggled out to Myanmar through our State, which is then used to make methamphetamine and other derivatives and smuggled across the world,� said an Excise and Narcotics department official.