The Lao National Assembly, during its just-ended 4th ordinary session, passed an anti-narcotic law which, with strict enforce-ment, authorities believe will help them deal with drug problems more effectively.
Until now, Laos' anti-narcotic law was incorparated into the country's criminal code under article 135. Lao officials say a separate, specific anti-narcotic law gives them a clear-cut mandate and direction to deal with drug problems.
Laos, which declared itself opium-free in 2006, has acknowledged that
some opium farmers in remote areas have returned to their old occupation, because the government's poverty reduction efforts have not been able to reach them.
Officials also acknowledged that the most serious drug problem facing them is the increase in methamphetamine consumption by young people, which has contributed to the rise in illegal drug trade. But authorities maintain that there is no methamphetamine lab in Laos.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details on Lao.