10 percent of Egyptians are drug users. Image - Val-gb via Pixabay
CAIRO – 17 October 2018: Parliamentarian John Talat will submit a draft law to the Parliament calling for abolishing drug abuse punishment and referring patients to the hospital to receive 3-6 month treatment instead.
Talat told Egypt today that he will submit the draft law on October 21 to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal.
According to Article (39) of the Penal Code, the penalty for drug abuse is imprisonment for a period not less than a year and a fine not less than LE 1,000, and not more than LE 3,000, Talat said.
The parliamentarian also explained that the draft law aims to protect youth from prisons and exchange ideas with them.
He added that the Ministry of Social Solidarity spends millions on awareness campaigns, advertisements about the dangers of addiction and on providing food and drinks for imprisoned users, stressing that allocating this money for treatment will be much better and more effective.
Talat affirmed that the draft law calls for the abolition of drug use punishment only, not trafficking, which is punished by life imprisonment.
In the same context, former Assistant to the Minister of Interior, Farouk al-Mekrahi, refused the suggestion, saying that drug abuse damages public health and awareness, and that it cannot be allowed.
Meanwhile, parliamentarian Abdel Moneam al-Emealy agreed with the suggestion, saying it will serve the youth, and calling for the establishment of health institutions.
Furthermore, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said in January that the rate of drug abuse and addiction in Egypt is twice the global rates, adding that the ministry launched a media campaign to face the phenomenon of driving under the influence of drugs among school bus drivers.