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Expert: Kuwait’s anti-drug system need to be fortified

KUWAIT: Expert and academics have recommended that the national anti-drug system be fortified to leave no chance for dealers to exploit any loopholes. Many drug dealers seek to take advantage of any slack in the inspection operations and “legal loopholes,” thus the Ministry of Interior is advised to review the anti-drugs mechanisms of operations, namely the scientific methods followed by the personnel in unveiling crimes related to the narcotics, the experts advise.

Lawyer Ali Al-Otaibi

Dr Ahmad Al-Otaibi, head of the law division at Kuwait International Law School (KILAW), said in an interview with KUNA that the Kuwaiti law “fully tackles this menace and related crimes with penalty for drugs trade can be as hard as execution. “However, the shortcoming lies in some cases in the detention procedures,” he said, urging the MoI strategists to re-examine the relevant measures, underscoring however the personnel record of successful clampdown on the dealers in the illegal materials.

In addition to the State security personnel’s role, families, associations and other influential entities play a key role in guiding the youth and warning them against possible fall as prey to the harmful act. Dr Sami Al-Draiee, a law professor at Kuwait University, told KUNA that he believed that dope peddlers have been recently acting under the impression that there is no firm deterrence against their acts, “and this is the main reason for spread of drugs in Kuwait.”

Dr Sami Al-Draiee, a law professor at Kuwait University

Some high-income youngsters seek “fake joy,” he said, noting that other reasons for spread of the illegal materials is “weak laws” and lack of guidance to the security personnel about the firm legal procedures when busting peddlers. GCC countries namely Kuwait have been targeted with schemes to promote the harmful products and this is sensed with recurring seizures of large amounts of narcotics, Dr Al-Draiee added.

Lawyer Hussein Al-Abdullah

Lawyer Hussein Al-Abdullah, also interviewed by KUNA, underlined necessity of tackling the drugs cases according to security, legal and educational grounds. “What is needed is a healthy system not a punitive one,” he said, calling for a distinction between the addicted and the promoter. The major flaw is the approach to deal with these cases on security and legal bases with no consideration to the health and psychological aspects, he said, urging legislators to categorize the addicted as a mental patient who might have deviated due to social and family pressure and issues.

He believes that caught persons hooked to drugs should be held at correction houses rather than prisons where they may spend years behind bars then released after spending their time to commit the same offense. A new system should be established involving health and legal authorities to ensure that the addicted get the required treatment and the dealer is punished, Dr Al-Abdullah said, also advising that hardcore drugs and stimulating materials should be equally regarded as narcotics.

Ali Al-Otaibi, also a lawyer, concurs that some weakness exists in the security and educational systems, warning that the drugs have become a national threat, giving the fact that some of the crimes are linked to the addiction to drugs. Moreover, the national development strategy may be also jeopardized due to the drugs spread for the junior generation plays a basic role at this level, he said, calling for tight control on the border checkpoints and promoting social awareness of the peril. – KUNA

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