Chandigarh: Former Punjab chief minister and Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday emphasised on the need for formulating a comprehensive national drug policy, saying a single state cannot confront the problem alone.
In a statement here, he said during his term as the Chief Minister, he had raised the issue several times as Punjab`s primary issue, in the Chief Ministers` conference and thrice with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that in order to curb the menace of drugs, there needed to be a National Drug Policy.
He said in states like Madhya Pradesh, drugs are freely grown and sold, and in Rajasthan, drugs are freely sold.
Since Punjab borders Rajasthan, it automatically becomes the market for home-grown drugs, he said.
Drugs from Pakistan have been an ongoing problem for years and despite the BSF`s best efforts, drugs do slip by and enter the market in the country and Punjab is the main market, he said.
Home-produced chemical drugs are the latest in the list, and their potency is even more than the earlier types, he said.
"That is why, I have always emphasised that the problem of drugs can only be solved by evolving a national policy, which deals both with the national as well as international aspect.
"An individual state like Punjab, that has a long international border and also a border with Rajasthan, cannot do it on its own," the permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee said.
He asked for amending the law to increase the penalty for drug-related crime manifold, which will act as a serious deterrent for current and prospective drug smugglers, manufacturers and traders.
In some countries, death penalty is mandatory for drug trade, he said, adding that life imprisonment should be made mandatory in India.