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5 December 2014

Belarus president backs proposal to lower criminal responsibility age for selling drugs

MINSK, 5 December (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko backed the proposal of the Investigation Committee to reduce the age of criminal responsibility for selling drugs from 16 to 14 years. The idea was discussed at the government conference held by the Belarus president on 4 December to discuss the counteraction of the illegal turnover of narcotic substances, psychotropic substances, their precursors and analogs, BelTA has learned.

Among the proposals voiced during the conference by Chairman of the Investigation Committee Valentin Shayev was the introduction of tougher criminal responsibility for selling drugs if the person, who takes the drugs, dies after that.

The Chairman of the Investigation Committee also pointed out the rising number of cases when psychotropic substances are sold by people under 16. The Investigation Committee suggested reducing the age of criminal responsibility for selling drugs from 16 to 14 years.

The Investigation Committee also put forth proposals on treating drugs users. Drugs users may be encouraged to voluntarily undergo treatment against drugs abuse by the introduction of criminal responsibility for using narcotic substances within one year after the administrative punishment for doing so was enforced. The Investigation Committee also suggested legislating the possibility of forced medical examination for drugs intoxication. For now there are no mechanisms or legal grounds to do that, stated Valentin Shayev.

The Investigation Committee also believes it is necessary to work out a long-term strategy to coordinate the fight against the illegal turnover of drugs and get it approved by the president.

Alexander Lukashenko backed these proposals. "If you have to reduce the age, do so. I am totally amazed by what you said about forced examination. It should have been done long ago!" said the President.

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