Home minister: Proposed amendments to Poisons Act postponed

Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to reporters in Ulu Kinta, Ipoh June 19, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to reporters in Ulu Kinta, Ipoh June 19, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — The proposed amendments to the Poisons Act 1952 have been postponed to make way for the establishment of two technical committees which will involve several ministries, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

He said the postponement was to allow a more comprehensive approach on enforcement and laws related to the cultivation of psychoactive plants including ketum.

“The establishment of these two technical committees will see participation of various ministries, namely, the legal technical committee that will comprise the Home Ministry, Health Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Department’s Legal Affairs Division.

“We want to see if the psychoactive plants such as ketum and hemp should be given appropriate emphasis. Is it true that this plant can be beneficial or it is should be disallowed altogether,” he said.

He told this to reporters after chairing a law enforcement action committee meeting here today.

Meanwhile, he said that the technical committee for scientific and commercial studies will involve the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry and the Health Ministry.

Hamzah also said that during the meeting, the committee also agreed for the Drugs and Substance Abuse Act 2020 to replace the Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983.

He said that the new law has been formulated to increase the effectiveness of the provision for drug treatments and rehabilitation services.

“The new act will also increase access to drug treatments and rehabilitation as well as to assist those affected to recover from drug abuse.

“The decisions made in this meeting will be forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on the Eradication of Drugs (JKMD) which will be chaired by the Prime Minister for approval,” he said. — Bernama

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