Lao Government Declares Drug Problem a National Agenda

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Lao police prepare to destroy illicit drugs
Lao police prepare to destroy illicit drugs at a burning ceremony (Photo: MediaLaos)

Laos is to retain the death penalty for serious drug offences to deter those considering drug-related activities.

The Lao government has declared drug prevention and control a “national agenda,” which calls for decisive action and the participation of multiple sectors to combat the current narcotics threat.

According to a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on 12 May, the Ministry of Public Security is to consider adding stronger penalties to its drug suppression agenda.

The notice states that the death penalty for drug dealers is one of the most powerful deterrents to those who choose to commit drug crimes.

Laos is now facing serious social problems related to widespread drug abuse and trafficking, jeopardizing social security and order.

According to the notice, the Ministry of Public Security should collaborate closely with village authorities to create conditions that encourage people to participate in solving the drug crisis.

Police processed 13,753 drug-related reports and arrested 20,221 people between 2015 and 2019, including 2,714 women. A total of 403 foreigners were included in this number, according to a report in the Vientiane Times.

About 943 kilograms of heroin, over 10,000 kilograms of cannabis, over 6,000 kilograms of amphetamine tablets, over 8,000 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ice), 577 kilograms of opium, and other products were confiscated by police.