The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, which is popularly known as the NDPS Act, was implemented to make strict provisions related to controlling the operation of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, and other material concerned with them. The main reason behind the act to be legislated was that The opium Act 1852, The opium Act 1878 and the Hazardous Drugs Act 1930 were considered to be insufficient to regulate all the activities relating to drugs and psychotropic substances, hence it became necessary to enact a new law which could update the provisions in the previous acts and bring some change to its functioning. The NDPS Act has been amended three times till now, in 1988, 2001 and 2014. This act is applicable to the while of india, and to all of its citizens no matter where they are. Before we go into the details of the act, one should understand the definition of a narcotic drug and a psychotropic substance.
- A Narcotic Drug is a substance which is used for numbing your senses, relieve pain , and causes one to sleep. If it is used by medical practitioners in a limited amount its for a good cause, but it become illicit when one uses it without the guidance of a medical practitioner, for obtaining pleasure by changing the levels of consciousness, feeling and emotions. They go into their own world of fantasies, it is usually taken to attain happiness. Narcotic drug means coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium, poppy straw and includes all manufactured drugs as defined under the act.
- A Psychotropic substances contain many drugs under it which are used to alter the functions of the brain, mood, actions and thoughts. Examples of such substances are alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, marijuana, are usually legal if used by doctors, and the illegal ones are narcotics like heroin, LSD, cocaine, and amphetamines.
Features, Aims and objectives of the act have been discussed as follows:
- Narcotic Control Board (NCB) was established under the act to fulfill its objectives, it id headquartered at Delhi. The structure of the Board members has been clearly given in the act. The narcotic commissioner and other officers are appointed bu the central government, and the board is responsible to frame the rules and regulation regarding producing and cultivating opium, measures to be taken to control the drug menace, and illicit drug trafficking, etc.
- The act also provides the punishments and penalties to the offences that are committed under the act, and the offences are considered to non bailable, and cognizable, and it aims in increasing the penalties and the level of punishments for such offences.
- According to the act, a committee named the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances Consultative committee was formed which was an advisory committee which was established by the central government, to provide advices in matters of drug use control, not only this but also a fund separately for the purpose of controlling drug abuse was also formed, it was the National Fund for control of drug abuse.
- The act clearly defined various terms like addict, cannabis, coca, and many other such terms. It has been defined in a clear and crisp way leading to no vagueness.
- The act aimed to totally prevent drug abuse, it occurs when a person uses a drug more than prescribed not for medical use, but for other uses like to obtain pleasure.
- The act has provisions which restrict the cultivation, manufacture and trade of dangerous drugs. It has provisions, where some drugs are totally prohibited to be cultivated, drugs which could be cultivated if controlled and regulated by the central government, and drugs which could be grown under the control and regulation of state government.
- The supreme objective of the act is to prevent a person from becoming a drug addict, so that they could live a happy life. This act ensures the welfare of the people.
At a conclusion, we can tell that the act has brought a lot of change in the society, it was considered as a good step taken by the government. However there was some criticism which was associated with act, it was told that it has been poorly legislated as the same penalties was stated for many offences, there was no differentiation made between hard and soft drugs, degree of an offence was not realised, etc. Anyway, in spite of the criticism an impressive change has been brought in the society, efforts have been taken to formulate the correct strategies and policies, and awareness has been brought regarding the cons of drug and its use. This act controlled the drug menace to a large extent throught its strict applications and laws.