Stiffer penalties for drug peddlers lengthened up to 30 years
Drug peddlers targeted; details of changes to death penalty spelt out
The Government on Monday moved to change laws mandating the death penalty for murder and drug trafficking even as it lengthened sentences for drug peddlers to up to 30 years.
The proposed stiffer penalties come amid a worsening drug situation here which has seen more drugs seized and drug arrests jumping fourfold from seven years ago.
Hardest hit by the proposed changes will be repeat traffickers and those who push drugs to young people aged below 21. Maximum sentences for those found guilty could go up to 30 years of jail time plus 15 strokes of the cane, depending on the types of drugs peddled.
Two new offences were also proposed, that will make it illegal to recruit the young into the drug trade, and to throw drug parties. Those who organise such gatherings can be jailed up to 20 years and be given 10 strokes of the cane.
Last year, the number of young, first-time drug abusers arrested spiked 45 per cent to 260, compared to 163 the year before, sparking concerns that the younger set had a more permissive attitude towards drug use. A large number of them had taken the drugs at home or at drug parties.