Kuwaiti MPs Approve Tougher Legislation Against Drug Use


It also agreed to make changes to law no. 48 on the use of mind-altering drugs. The lawmakers came hard on local law enforcement agencies charging them with inefficient monitoring of the nation’s ports of entry through which illegal drugs and narcotics enter the country.

They expressed bewilderment at the lack of up-to-date drug-detecting apparatus at all ports of entry and wondered at the lax monitoring in the nation’s prisons where the problem of drug abuse is rampant.

The government, they maintained, "is remiss in its obligation to employ media-awareness campaigns" to fight the scourge of drug proliferation and use among the ranks of the nation’s youth.

Some of the lawmakers estimated that no less than 70 percent of prison inmates were behind bars as a result of drug offenses. They cited a study conducted by the ministry of Education concluding that 24 percent of male high schoolers and 16 percent female ones used illegal drugs or meta-amphetamine pills.

The new amendments to law no.74 require deletion of a minimum sentence of five years and a fine of KD 5,000 in drug use and drug sale cases, currently in use, allowing courts to deal with each case on its merits.

Parameters for the new amendments require a sentence of no less than 10 years and a fine of no more than KD 10,000 for any offender who possesses, produces, purchases, sells, or uses any illegal drug or narcotic substance.

For minors who are under the age of 21, a first time offense will land them at a drug abuse center run by the ministry of labor and social affairs until such time the court decides whether they are released after successful detoxification treatment or simply kept at the center for an extended period of time.

In such cases the new amendments require that the offenders stay no less than six months or no more than two years at the detoxification center. After two years they would be placed under the watchful eye of law enforcement authorities for another two years.

An amendment to the drug law gives a free hand to the courts to abort prison sentences being served by foreign drug abusers if they prove they have given up drugs, in which case they could be deported by the courts.
However the courts could abort such sentences only after abusers have served at least three months of their sentences, and the abusers have shown progress in their drug rehabilitation program at the detoxification center.


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