As of yesterday, the Supreme Court has the power to award the death penalty to anyone, including school children for possession of five grams of crystal methamphetamine, which is known as ‘ice’, Justice and Prisons Affairs State Minister Anuradha Jayaratne said.
“If found guilty, such a person could face the death penalty under the Poisons, Opium, and Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act No. 41 of 2022, which went into effect yesterday (April 23),” he said.
He said if school children were caught with even 5 grams of Ice they could be sentenced to death. “However, it will be upto the Supreme Court to decide on such cases,” he said.
Addressing the media, he said, these amendments were brought to protect the future generation and to direct the country in the right direction.
The State Minister requested the parents and religious leaders to pay attention in this regard, as it would be useless if we were unable to protect the future generation to build the country.
“Even though the use of ice is dangerous, the law was only enforced on heroin, according to previous laws. As of today, the country is dealing with serious drug problems.
“According to the statistics, a total of 26,000 people are in prison so far. 16,000 of the total are in remand custody. Drug use had left 65% of the 16,000 in prison,” he said.
“As the government and with the advice of the President, we will take all measures to suppress this situation,” he said.