CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday called for a national drug policy to save the young generation, saying a comprehensive formula was needed at the central level to effectively check the drug abuse.
The national policy could also address the need for cultivation of drugs needed for the pharmaceutical industry, he said, adding that Centre should involve states and experts while formulating such a policy.
Stressing that he had been clamouring for such a policy since his previous tenure as Chief Minister back in 2007, Amarinder welcomed the fact that the issue had taken centre-stage due to the growing demand for opium cultivation by certain states.
"States like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were growing opium, for which they were finding a lucrative market in Punjab," he said, expressing angst at the ruination of his state's young generation.
The Chief Minister said in a statement that he had taken up the issue of a national drug policy with the Centre, and also raised it in the chief ministers' conference.
A foolproof mechanism was needed to wipe out the scourge of drugs, he said, underlining the need for a national policy to deal with the problem.
"One state growing drugs, especially opium, and another not doing. Leading to an unacceptable situation in the country," he added.
The statement of Amarinder comes in the wake of the demand of suspended AAP MP (Patiala) Dharamvira Gandhi who has been pitching for legalization of poppy and opium cultivation.
Earlier, in a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on July 18, the Punjab CM had urged the Centre to evolve a national policy to curb drug menace with a coordinated strategy in place to check the smuggling of narcotics from across the border.
Amarinder had rued that despite his state regularly sharing intelligence on drug smuggling with the Border Security Force (BSF), the menace continued unabated in Punjab.
"We need full and active support from the Government of India in formulating and pursuing effective measures including a national policy for prevention and control of drug abuse," Singh's letter to the home minister said.