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A Study Of Regulation Of Narcotics Laws: A Global Study

Two types of medications, such as narcotic medications and non-narcotic drugs, can be helpful and prescribed for drug management and treatment. The former are easily accessible at chemists or drug stores with and without prescriptions (prescription is required when higher doses are being demanded), and they are also occasionally given during surgery so that pain after the surgery can be reduced and the patient does not need to use the norcotics drugs.

The former are used to treat the moderate to severe degree of pain and are taken on a doctor's prescription along with close monitoring of the drugs, whereas the latter are easily available at drugstores and pharmacies without a prescription.

As per the World Health Organization[1], "Drug use is responsible for 0.5 million fatalities globally. Overdose is the primary cause of over 30% of these deaths, which have an opioid connection in excess of 70%." Around 115 000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2017, and the use of highly potent opioids that are appearing on the black market for drugs is growing, according to estimates from the WHO.

We will discuss opioids, also referred to as narcotics, in this article. The definition of narcotics, a list of narcotic medications, narcotics' effects, and other relevant information will all be covered in order to better understand this idea.

List and effect of Narcotics
The list of illegal drugs includes opium, heroin, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol, morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, and carfentanil.

  1. When a patient's pain is more severe, doctors will recommend a stronger prescription, such as an opioid. Doctors must closely monitor patient compliance with these painkillers to prevent side effects like constipation, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting.
  2. When these medications are taken with alcohol and other drugs like antidepressants, sleeping aids, some antibiotics, anxiety medications, etc., it can be dangerous.
  3. Tolerance is the feeling that a person has after taking these painkillers that they may need to take more of the same drug to get relief from the pain. On the other hand, when a person takes these drugs for a long time, their bodies get accustomed to them, and if they stop taking them suddenly, they may experience side effects like diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, anxiety, and irritability. The dependency phase is known as this.
  4. Due to their pharmacological effects, breathing issues can happen, and an overdose can be fatal.

Countries and their laws and regulation of Narcotics
  1. India
    Any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance that is produced, manufactured, or grown, as well as its possession, sale, purchase, transportation, storage, use, or consumption, is prohibited under the NDPS Act. The Narcotics Control Bureau [2]was established as of March 1986 in accordance with one of the act's provisions.

    A fine of Rs 10,000 and/or six months in jail, or both, are possible penalties for violating Section 27 of the NDPSA [3], which makes using drugs a criminal offence. The Act has some very strict rules regarding bail.

    Bhang, a cannabis product, is permitted in India. Ganja (marijuana) and charas (hashish), its other forms, are prohibited. Opioids can be purchased as heroin (brown sugar, smack), opium (doda, phukki, or poppy husk), and pharmaceutical opioids.
    • Laws Regulating narcotics/drugs in India

      The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (1985)[4]
      A violation of the law is defined as "producing, manufacturing, cultivating, owning, selling, transferring, purchasing, or consuming any Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances." The word "narcotic" in the legal sense is very different from the one used in a medical context, where it refers to a substance that induces sleep. Legally, a narcotic substance could be cocaine, cannabis, or an opiate (a true narcotic) (the very antithesis of a narcotic, since it is a stimulant). Psychotropic substances include psychedelics like LSD, phencyclidine, amphetamines, barbiturates, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, mescaline, psilocybin, and designer drugs (MDMA, DMT, etc.).

      In the beginning, there were no Special Courts; however, a 1989 amendment allowed the Government to create Special Courts. The NDPS Act's offences will all be subject to the jurisdiction of a single judge, who will have the authority to do so.

      The degree of the drug use in the case will determine your punishment. Drug quantity is divided into two categories by the NDPS Act. Small Quantity and Commercial Quantity are the two categories. You will receive a lesser punishment if you possess drugs in small quantities, and a greater punishment if you possess drugs in commercial quantities. The NDPS Act specifically describes the quantity of each drug, defining small quantity and commercial quantity.

      In the case of State of Uttaranchal v. Rajesh Kumar Gupta (2006[5]), it was determined that exceptions must be evaluated based on two factors: first, whether the drugs are used for medicinal purposes, and second, whether they are subject to the regulatory requirements outlined in Chapters VI and VII of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Rules, 1985.[6]
  2. United States Of America
    The United States has been waging a "War on Drugs" [7]since the 1970s in an effort to stop the use of illegal drugs by harshly increasing fines, enforcement, and incarceration for drug offenders.

    By designating drug abuse as the "public enemy no. 1" and increasing federal funding for drug-control organisations and drug-treatment initiatives in June 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon officially launched the War on Drugs. To coordinate federal efforts to combat drug abuse, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Office of Narcotics Intelligence, and the Office for Drug Abuse Law Enforcement merged to form the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973. By designating drug abuse as the "public enemy no. 1" and increasing federal funding for drug-control organisations and drug-treatment initiatives in June 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon officially launched the War on Drugs.

    On November 3, 2020, Oregon became the first state in the union to legalise all drug possession.

    Measure 110, a ballot initiative supported in part by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and funded by the Drug Policy Alliance, passed with more than 58% of the vote. Drug possession for personal use is no longer a crime in Oregon, including the possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs.

    Laws and Regulations regarding Narcotics/Drug in US
    Federal Drug Laws[8]

    If found guilty of illegally possessing any controlled substance, a person could receive a year in jail, a minimum fine of $1,000, or both. A minimum fine of $2,500 and a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison apply to second offences. A minimum fine of $5,000 and a maximum prison sentence of three years apply to subsequent convictions.

    A prison sentence of up to three years, a fine, or both may be imposed under special sentencing guidelines for possessing flunitrazepam (Rohypnol, "roofies" or "roaches").

    Regardless of whether criminal charges are brought against the person, civil penalties of up to $10,000 may also be imposed for possession of controlled substances. Additionally, those found guilty of possession may be required to pay fines equal to the reasonable costs of the investigation and legal defence. Possession with the intent to distribute could result in even harsher punishments.

    Federal law imposes up to a three-year prison sentence and a monetary fine on those who are found guilty of selling, importing, exporting, or shipping drug paraphernalia.

    Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and licences, may no longer be available following a conviction for federal drug offences. If you are convicted of federal drug trafficking, you could lose access to federal benefits for up to five years on your first offence, ten years on your second, and permanently on your third. Denial of federal benefits may last up to 1 year for a first conviction and up to 5 years for subsequent convictions for federal drug possession convictions.

    In Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962)[9], In accordance with a California law, it is a misdemeanour punishable by imprisonment for anyone to "be addicted to the use of narcotics." In upholding the petitioner's conviction under this law, the California courts interpreted the law to make the "status" of narcotic addiction a criminal offence for which the offender may be prosecuted "at any time before he reforms," even though he had never used or possessed any narcotics

  3. Mexico
    The ongoing asymmetric low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking organisations is known as the "Mexican drug war," and it is the Mexican front in the U.S. government's global war on drugs. Reduced drug-related violence was the government's primary goal when the Mexican military started to intervene in 2006.

    The first Mexican drug cartel, the Guadalajara Cartel, an alliance of the current existing cartels, was led and founded by Miguel ngel F�lix Gallardo, whose arrest in 1989 marked the beginning of an uptick in violence (which included the Sinaloa Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, and the Sonora Cartel). Following his arrest, the coalition disintegrated as high-ranking members started their own cartels and engaged in a turf war for control of human trafficking routes.

    A new law against small-scale drug dealing was passed in Mexico in August 2009. It decriminalises the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use, gives state-level police the power to seize small-scale dealers, and increases the penalties for street-level drug dealing.

International Aspect on narcotics/drugs
The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 [10](as amended in 1972)[11], the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971[12], and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 [13]are the three main international drug control conventions, and they are mutually supportive and complementary.

The 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances expands the control regime to precursors and focuses on creating policies to stop illegal drug trafficking and the associated money-laundering as well as strengthening the framework of international cooperation in criminal matters, including extradition and mutual legal assistance.

The first two treaties have as one of their main goals the codification of globally applicable control measures to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes and to prevent their diversion into illegal channels. They also contain general guidelines on drug abuse and trafficking in illegal substances..

Drug Abuse Problem: - International Policy[14]
A synopsis of activities taken by the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations to control drug abuse is presented as is an international overview of the drug abuse problem and its links to crime.

The most fundamental idea is that society has the right to assess the risk to itself, and consequently to the individual, associated with the consumption of particular drugs. This is one of the basic ideas supporting drug control efforts at the international level. The connection between drugs and crime is analyzed. Difficulties in identifying classes of drug offenses and offenders, specifically in the growing number of situations where traffickers are also users, are discussed.

The following three connections are marked: consumption of illicit drugs in real life; illegal acts committed to obtain money to buy drugs. The creation of a growing number of "semi-professional" criminals who traffic in drugs through contacts with the professional criminal milieu.

The drug control activities of the following un body are summarized: the general assembly, the economic and social council, the fund for drug abuse control, the division of narcotics drugs, the international narcotics control board (a treaty organization ), and specialized un other international organizations, including the international police organization, the council of Europe, the international Arab narcotics bureau of the league of Arab states, and the nongovernmental international council on alcohol and addictions, are listed along with their drug control initiatives. It is emphasized that there is a need to coordinate the efforts of the numerous international organizations working in the field of drug control, and a UN proposal to accomplish this coordination is laid out. (LKM)

Impact of Drugs on International Society.[15]
The negative effects of drug abuse extend beyond the drug users themselves to include their friends and families, as well as various businesses and government resources. ONDCP recently reported that in 2002, drug abuse cost the United States $180.9 billion in economic costs, despite the fact that many of these effects are indescribable.

The most obvious side effects of drug abuse are sickness, poor health, and eventually death. These effects are seen in those who abuse drugs. The risk of contracting diseases transmitted by needles, such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, when using injection drugs, is particularly harmful to an abuser's health.

Over 3.5 million people aged 18 and older admitted to injecting an illicit drug at some point in their lives in 2004, according to NSDUH data. 498,000 of these people, or 14%, were under the age of 25. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 123,235 adults in the United States who were living with AIDS in 2003 contracted the illness through injecting drugs, and their chance of survival is lower than that of people who acquire the disease through any other method.

Legal Aspect
Although drug abuse is now a social problem, its early sociology was heavily influenced by cultural and religious beliefs. "Nearly all communities, in every region of the world, had their medicine men, witch doctors... chosen primarily on the basis of their capacity to interact with the spirits. The medicine men needed to be able to enter a trance in order to travel to the spirit world, and they frequently did so with the aid of drugs.

The Indian text known as the Rig Veda also attested to the necessity of using drugs and/or other addictive substances during religious rituals and in Christianity, the Bible. In fact, in many parts of the world, "plant drugs that had originally been used to facilitate access to the spirits came to be regarded, and later worshipped as spirits, or deities, in their own right."
  • The Organizational and Functional Framework as Devised by the League of Nations for the Purpose of Controlling the Manufacture of, and Trade and Traffic in, Drugs[16]

The League was given the responsibility of general oversight over the traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs by the League Covenant's Article 23, Paragraph (c). According to Article 2 of the Covenant, "the action of the League under the Covenant shall be effected by means of an Assembly and of a Council, with a permanent Secretariat." By allowing it to "deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere of action of the League or affecting the peace of the world," the League Assembly was granted more authority under Article 3, Paragraph 3 of the Covenant.

The League Council was given permission in Article 4, Paragraph 4 of the Covenant to "deal at its meetings with any matter within the League's sphere of action or affecting the peace of the world." It would appear that the Assembly's and the Council's areas of responsibility under Articles 3 and 4 of the Covenant are the same, but this is not the case. There was no clear distinction between the Council's and Assembly's responsibilities.

Consequently, it cannot be said that the Council was solely responsible for executive duties; rather, these two bodies' duties frequently overlapped. It is important to keep in mind that "the more notable events in the history of the League occurred against the backdrop of a vast and complex system of international cooperation in economic, social, and humanitarian activities, functioning under the general authority of the Assembly and the Council."

The World Drug Report 2021 aims to increase international cooperation to combat the effects of the global drug problem on health, governance, and security. It also focuses particularly on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to help Member States anticipate and address challenges that may arise in the near future.

This map shows the percentage of the population that has a "substance use disorder." Just over 2% of people worldwide were alcohol or illicit drug dependent.

Even more people experience it in some nations. More than one in twenty people (5%) were dependent in the USA and several Eastern European nations. While alcoholism was much more prevalent in Russia and Eastern Europe, illicit drug dependence predominated in the United States.


Drugs like heroin and other narcotics can both prolong and shorten life. Only use narcotics for therapeutic purposes as directed by a doctor. "The addict doesn't die from addiction. It kills the family, the children, and those who tried to assist!

India's drug problem is much worse than it first appears to be. Ganja, charas, and other psychoactive drugs were used for psychotherapy, pain relief, and other medical purposes in ancient India. Prior to 1985, India didn't have any laws that made drug possession or use illegal. It is important to note that the NDPS Act has several provisions that outline harsh penalties.

For instance, Section 37 specifies that more serious offences are not eligible for the right to bail. As a result of this legislation's stricter enforcement compared to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1976 (UAPA)[17], courts tended to be hesitant to grant bail releases to defendants.

Numerous laws are designed to address societal issues, but when they are applied incorrectly, they can be brutal. The likelihood of draconian legislation emerging increases as the law becomes more onerous. The NDPS has a chance to be abused even more because of how strict it is. As a result, it is up to the courts to make sure that the law doesn't get used as a weapon and that everyone gets justice.

No one is allowed to possess narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances because of the strict regulations provided by this act. Ultimately protects public health by preventing drug abuse by consuming import and export of these drugs.

  1. World health Organization
  2. The Narcotics Control Bureau
  3. NDPS act (27)
  4. The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (1985) (NDPS)
  5. State of Uttaranchal v. Rajesh Kumar Gupta CASE NO. Appeal (crl.) 672 of 2006
  6. War On Drugs
  7. Federal Drug Laws
  8. Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962)
  9. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961
  10. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 10 (as amended in 1972)
  11. Psychotropic Substances of 1971
  12. The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988
  13. ANON "Drug Abuse Problem:- International Policy"
  14. S.K. Banrejee "Impact of Drugs On international Society
  15. S.K.Banrjee "The Organizational and Functional Framework as Devised by the League of Nations for the Purpose of Controlling the Manufacture of, and Trade and Traffic in, Drugs"
  16. UPAP Act 1976

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