Can I be punished under the law if all I have done is let my friend use my shop to temporarily store drugs?

Yes, knowingly letting someone use your house or vehicle for storing or handling illegal drugs is punishable under this law. It is understood as committing the offence itself. You will be punishable with the punishment provided for that offence. Letting someone use your animal or conveyance knowing the purpose for which the animal or conveyance is going to be used is also an offence.1

  1. Section 25, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.[]

What is the difference between seizing order and freezing under law?

Seizing occurs when an authorized officer conducting an inquiry or investigation, has reason to believe that the property being investigated is likely to be concealed, transferred or dealt with in a manner that might hinder the proceedings relating to the forfeiture of property. Where it is not possible to seize the property, the officer may order to freeze it and it can only be transferred or dealt with, with his permission.1

  1. Section 68F, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.[]

What happens when the officers, on fake grounds, search and seize my property for drugs and arrest me in the process?

The Act provides for punishment of officers who, without reasonable grounds of suspicion, enter or search and seize property and arrest people. Their punishment is imprisonment up to six months, or fine or both. Any person who gives wrongful information to the officers, who further carry out the search, seizure and arrest of this information, is also punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, fine or both.1

  1. Section 58, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.[]

I’m a drug addict, and have been caught consuming drugs. Will I be punished or sent to a rehabilitation centre?

If you are a drug addict who has been caught consuming a small amount of drugs, you could voluntarily seek to undergo medical treatment for de-addiction. The Court will direct that you be released for undergoing such treatment for detoxification or de-addiction from a hospital or an institution maintained or recognised by the government.

But it is important to note this option is available only if/when you’ve been caught consuming a small quantity. For every other offence, the Act strictly does not allow commutation or reduction of sentence.1

  1. Section 64A, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.[]

Can someone go to jail for smoking weed?

Yes, if an officer catches you smoking weed, you can be punished with imprisonment up to one year, or a fine of up to Rs. 20,000, or both.1

  1. Section 27, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.[]

Is medicinal cannabis legal in India?

Medicinal cannabis i.e., medicinal hemp refers to any extract or tincture of cannabis. While growing cannabis still a crime as per the NDPS Act, some states allow the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or research like Uttar Pradesh.

Can a seizure of drugs happen in a public place?

Yes, a seizure can happen in a public place. The authorised officer, in this case, can seize in any public place or in transit and drugs or substances which he suspects is punishable under the Act. They can also seize any animal, conveyance or article, which can be confiscated under this Act. It is also important to note that the officer can detain and search any person who has any drugs or substances in their possession which appears to him as unlawful.1

  1. Section 50(5), Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.[]

Immunity for addicts volunteering for treatment

Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on drugs and narcotics which some readers may find disturbing. 

If an addict who is charged for consuming narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or any other crime in relation to a small quantity of that drug or substance voluntarily seeks to undergo medical treatment for de-addiction, he will not be prosecuted. The law affords immunity to such persons who are looking to rehabilitate and treat themselves1

This treatment must be done at: 

  • A hospital or institution maintained by the government 
  • A hospital or institution recognised by the government
  • A local authority as provided in the NDPS Act. 

It is important to note that this immunity can be withdrawn if the addict does not undergo the complete treatment for de-addiction2

  1.  Section 64A, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985[]
  2. Section 64A, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985[]