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E.G. Gasanov

This and many other very interesting materials have been published in the book "Drug Abuse: Tendencies and Ways to Overcome It (based on materials of the Republic of Azerbaijan)" (Мoscow: "JurInfoR" Educational and Consulting Center, 1998)


Measures to prevent narcotics are very diverse. Their aim is to exert influence on various elements such as on persons using drugs, sowing and raising drug-bearing crops, manufacturing, acquiring, storing and selling narcotic substances and committing other drug-related crimes; on persons committing crimes with the aim of getting the means to purchase drugs or those undertaking criminal actions in the state of narcotic intoxication; and on circumstances that are seen as causes and conditions of drug addiction, etc. The preventive influence on all these persons may take three forms: persuasion, compulsion and stimulation[128].

The last two forms can only be applied if they are regulated by law.

The diversity of measures to prevent narcotics entail the need for their typology. All the measures mentioned above can be divided into those regulated by the law and those unregulated by the law. Those regulated by law can be subdivided into groups of a particular branch of legislation in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Law regulated measures are contained in the civil, family, labor, administrative and criminal legislation.

The civil legislation contains a preventive coercive measure outlined in article 16 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This article points out that " a person who due to abusing drugs puts his family in a difficult material position may be restricted by court in his freedom of action" and may be put into guardianship.

Law-regulated Measures to Prevent Drug Abuse

A person whose freedom of action has been limited retains the right to conclude only small deals. An addict whose freedom of action has been restricted can handle deals involving the disposal of his property or receive his earnings, pension, grant or other types of income only with the consent of his trustee or guardian. Under article 50 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan a property deal concluded without the guardian's consent by a citizen whose freedom of action is restricted by the court due to his abuse of drugs, can be annulled by the court upon filing of a suit by his guardian.

As law has it, the court discontinues a citizen's freedom of action limitation upon his termination of abusing drugs.

The family legislation article 74 of the Marriage and Family Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan registers such a preventive measure as stripping parents of their rights of parenthood, one parent or both, if they are drug addicts.

In labor legislation there are preventive coercive measures regulated by articles 38 and 138 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Part 7 of article 38 of this Code provides for a possibility to abrogate a labor contract , and part 1 of article 138 of the Code provides for a possibility to use disciplinary punishment for arriving at work in the state of intoxication. A state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication should be regarded as a violation of labor discipline.

The administrative legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan contains a number of coercive, as well as a preventive measures specified in the note to article 44 of the Administrative Offenses Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The legal administrative measures mentioned earlier, as well as compulsory treatment of drug addicts are not only suppressive but also preventive since they aim to forestall drug-related crimes, as well as reduce drug addiction.

According to the note to article 44 of the Administrative Offenses Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan " a person who at his own free will turns in a small quantity of drugs which he has acquired or stored without the aim of selling or voluntarily applies to a medical center for drug abuse assistance, will be freed from the administrative responsibility for actions stipulated by this article. As it has already been pointed out, article 44 of this Code stipulated responsibility for the illegal acquisition or storage of narcotics in small amounts or responsibility for using them without a doctor's prescription.

The criminal legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan contains norms providing for both coercive and stimulative measures to prevent drug abuse. The criminal legal measures examined earlier, are at the same time coercive measures bound to prevent drug-related crimes. This is so because a general preventive role is enhanced in the criminal legislation of bans on such crimes which, if committed, are subject to punishment or compulsory treatment for addiction.

Another norm contained in article 12 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan stating that a person who has committed a crime in the state of intoxication is not freed from criminal responsibility, is an important preventive measure. This includes both alcohol and drug intoxication[129].

A stimulative measure is present in the note to article 226-1 of the CC of the Republic of Azerbaijan which states that: " A person who turned in drugs at his own free will, is freed from criminal responsibility for acquiring the turned in drugs and also for their storing, transporting or sending by mail. A person who has voluntarily applied to a medical center for drug abuse assistance is freed from criminal responsibility for using drugs without a doctor's prescription and also for illegal acquisition, storage, transportation and sending drugs he used by mail." In its legal nature, this form is similar to the one contained in the note to article 44 of the Administrative Offenses Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The two norms have a clearly pronounced preventive aspect, whereas the coercive aspect is expressed only potentially in a relative form. Norms unregulated by the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan include various preventive measures which can be defined by the following aspects: their goal, realization time and level.

Measures to Prevent Drug Abuse Unregulated by the Law.

In terms of goals these measures can be divided into general social and special ones. General social measures have to do with society's social and economic development, the rise in cultural, educational and moral standards of all citizens. The economic development measures aim to increase the production of material benefits, as well as of intellectual output making the nation richer and the living standards higher. Social measures are apparent in rational distribution of funds in increase the government provides for social needs. Cultural and educational measures aim to promote the development of art, literature, science and education; they draw an ever greater number of people into this process and ensure that they gain knowledge, know-how, and skills. Measures aiming to raise moral standards are expressed in inculcating an awareness of the need to abide by the social, particularly, legal, religious and other norms and rules of conduct in society. All these measures are designed to prevent crimes and violations, including drug-related crimes, and drug abuse particularly.

Special are those measures that prevent drug abuse as such, and crimes related to it, including those recommended by the international organizations and fora[130].

These are, for example, measures to promote a healthy way of life without consumption of narcotics and censuring the harm caused by narcotics and drug-related crimes. These measures are implemented by means of: 1) education - lectures , presentations at schools and other training centers, statements on the radio, television or press; 2) training law enforcement officers and medical personnel in the techniques of combating narcotics and drug-related crimes by creating special educational programs and setting up special training centers; 3) treatment and rehabilitation of addicts; 4) collection, analysis, summary, and transmission of information about narcotics, particularly, about new areas of drug-bearing plants, and methods of their production, illegal channels for their exportation, as well as the methods for moving them, using different kinds of transport; 5) preventing the sowing and the growing of drug-bearing plants by replacing them with other crops and stimulating the farmers and providing them an all-round assistance[131]; 6) blocking the channels through which narcotics are moved along; curbing the smuggling of drugs through the joint efforts of customs and law-enforcement officers of neighboring countries specializing in actions against narcotics; 7) supervising the fulfillment of anti-drug laws regulating the sowing and growing of drug-bearing plants, drug circulation, etc; 8) reducing the demand for drugs by preventing their transfer from the legal to the illegal domain, including the use of a "daily dosage method" which makes it possible to determine the correlation between the quantity of drugs necessary for medical and research needs and the volume of sale; 9) introduction of remote control devices to estimate the scale of illegal cultivation of drug-bearing plants in remote places and creating obstacles for laundering money and other property acquired as a result of drug trafficking.

In terms of the time, frame measures against narcotics and drug-related offenses can be divided into early warning, direct impact and postpenitentiary prophylactic.

The early warning measures are expected to exert influence on persons, who are not well-versed in drugs and their danger, and who are informed on the subject but do not take drugs. The preventive influence on poorly informed persons is made by disseminating knowledge. In this respect the experience of the United States is worthy of attention and could be borrowed by the Republic of Azerbaijan. For as long as a quarter of a century, preschool children, especially, the ones who attend day care centers have been educated that any medicines, including drug-bearing ones are harmful for their health, if they are taken without a doctor's prescription and the knowledge of the exact dose. To achieve a more vivid effect an album for coloring pictures featuring narcotics and health is used[132].

In Australia, there are centers for preventing drug abuse where school students between 5 and 12 years old have 7 lessons a year forming a certain attitude to narcotics, as well as an awareness of the danger of drug addiction[133].

The influence on persons who are aware of the harm of narcotics and do not take drugs can be achieved by "tearing them away," so to speak, from their surroundings where drugs may be used or are used already. This can be accomplished by conversation with individuals, their families, and colleagues living in similar environment.

Direct impact prophylactic measures are expected to influence persons taking drugs, including drug addicts. This impact brings or may bring positive results when medical treatment is combined with the social rehabilitation.

Postpenitentiary measures should influence persons who have served prison terms for drug-related offenses by continuous treatment of drug addiction, securing the results of previous treatment, and neutralizing a possible unfavorable influence of their immediate surroundings, finding jobs and also forestalling the repetition of drug-related offenses.

International, National and Regional Measures

In terms of their level, the measures to prevent drug abuse can be divided into international, national and regional.

International measures are the ones which are carried out on an international scale. They include a number of earlier listed special measures to prevent drug abuse. Apart from that, they also include measures carried out by the international agencies and organizations, such as 1) creation of programs to prevent the advancement of narcotics; 2) assistance to countries in implementation of the conventions provisions; 3) providing assistance in bringing national legislation in line with the conventions; 4) training officers specializing in actions against narcotics for law-enforcement and other agencies of different countries; 5) supporting the scientific development of laboratories in the members countries; 6) providing financial, technical and other kinds of assistance to raise the effectiveness of national efforts against drug abuse and ensure access to the international system of information about narcotics. It should be noted at this point that the Republic of Azerbaijan adheres to the international measures because it has joined the world legal effort aiming to combat narcotics.

National measures to prevent drug abuse are the ones which are carried out on the entire territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Regional measures cover the territory of a region, city or district. Any of the mentioned general or special measures against narcotics can be used on a national or regional scale.

It should be stressed at this point, that the last few years have seen a sharp decline in the effort of law-enforcement bodies, government agencies and other organizations to prevent offenses, including drug abuse and drug-related crimes. This state of affairs cannot help but arouse deep concern. In this context the approval of the national program for combating drug addiction in the Republic of Azerbaijan is a necessary step towards improving the work of preventing narcotics and drug-related crimes, along with other offenses.


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