Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Ministry of Justice seeks to broaden scope of drug law

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Justice has drafted an amendment to the Narcotics Endangerment Prevention Act (毒品危害防治條例) that would widen the definition of illegal drugs in two categories and could see more people convicted on drug charges, Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) told lawmakers at a recent legislative committee meeting.

Article 11 of the act, which stipulates the penalties for possession of Category 1 or 2 drugs, would be revised to redefine illegal substances as “narcotics” rather than “pure narcotics,” he said.

It also stipulates a lower threshold for the amount of Category 3 and 4 drugs that could lead to a conviction, Chiu said.

The law allows prosecution for possession of more than 20g of Category 3 or 4 narcotics, and a fine for people found with less than 20g, but the proposed amendment would lower the threshold for prosecution to 5g, the minister said.

The present penalty for possession of Category 1 and 2 drugs ranges from six months to seven years in prison as well as a fine of between NT$700,000 and NT$1 million (US$23,202 and US$33,145.5).

The Cabinet has allocated NT$177.73 million from a government reserve fund to purchase drug testing equipment and employ more trained staff as part of efforts to more efficiently test new types of narcotics, Deputy Minister of Justice Chang Tou-hui (張斗輝) said.

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