The state government of Sikkim, under Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, will make changes in the existing laws to decriminalise the use of contraband substances and view it as a ‘disease’ instead, sources said.

Addressing the Tendong Lho Rum Faat celebrations near Ranipool yesterday, Chamling said, “The laws to punish drug peddlers will be made more severe and stringent but drug consumption will not be treated as an offence, but rather an illness which needs treatment or therapy.”

He urged to people to be more aware of the issues regarding the drug menace and encourage people, particularly the youth who’ve fallen victim to substance abuse to come forward and seek treatment.

The release also added that Chamling is trying to contact actor Sanjay Dutt to visit Sikkim in a bid to inspire the Sikkimese youth to overcome addiction.

In Sikkim, a person found guilty of consuming banned substances can be jailed up to six months minimum with a fine of Rs. 20000, according to the Sikkim Anti Drugs Act 2006.

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