Letter: Drug war in Goa

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The Goan police may be giving the appearance of a crackdown on drugs ("Harsh penalties in poisoned paradise", 25 January), but in reality it is business as usual. They have still not arrested a single drugs baron and they continue to milk the dealers for protection money.

The arrests are all for relatively small amounts and many of the victims claim that the drugs were planted on them.

My daughter Alexia, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on a charge of possessing cannabis, and other prisoners are casualties of the US-inspired "war" on drugs, which caused Rajiv Gandhi to introduce the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 (modelled on the British Prevention of Terrorism Act). As long as cannabis is differently treated from alcohol and tobacco, and as long as addiction to hard drugs is treated as a criminal rather than a medical problem, Goa will continue to suffer an influx of people who are prepared to risk taking drugs under the lax rule of the Goan police, and innocent people will continue to suffer.