Friends, over the last decade Punjab has been much maligned over the drugs issue. The issue has become a huge plank for political campaigns, police bullying, addicts being marginalised, and the system collapsing.

Yet, it needed a good doctor to pin-point the issue and suggest a course of treatment which is stupendous in its simplicity. That is exactly what Dr Dharamvira Dv Gandhi is suggesting: change the way we look at drugs, amend the draconian NDPS Act, 1985, to lay out which are ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ drugs, decriminalise the addict.

He is proposing the amendment in the Winter Session of the Parliament, starting November 17. I really hope the Bill goes through. This is a much needed change on our own ‘war of drugs’ and stands to make political parties accountable for their rhetoric.
I understand, given our mindsets, this could cause a furore but let us discuss, debate, make informed choices, instead of staying apathetic and suddenly turning around and blaming the system. The incidence of drugs is a symptom of systemic collapse. We are the system.

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