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Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh.

Police officers who warn children with drugs should pass the information on to the Ministry of Education, Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh says.

He made the recommendation during yesterday’s Senate debate on the Miscellaneous bill.

He said liaising with the ministry was needed so as to provide scrutiny in case these children may also be selling drugs in school.

Deyalsingh said there’s more to worry about with China apart from COVID-19 because of 2019 studies showing several types of imitation drugs were being manufactured in that country.

He said in the COVID situation, people with psychiatric problems were “reaching out”.

He said the Mental Health act needed beefing up to cater to this dynamic.

Deyalsingh also said he was “scared” since there are new drugs on the market apart from marijuana and alcohol. He noted the ministry statements on addictive drugs called “Mollies” and “Ecstasy.”

“This is a different ball game, children are at risk,” he said, noting dealers would seek new commodities to offer if small quantities of marijuana, for instance, can now be planted.

Deyalsingh also recommended that people who are cruel to animals be sent for psychological assessment.

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat noted that penalties for animal cruelty were increased since there is a lot of this problem in T&T.

Penalties moved from a $400 fine and two months’ jail to $100,000 and a year’s jail.

He said animal welfare’s been very topical in T&T for a long time but laws had been in force for the last 67 years. Rambharat said animals working in sectors had rights also.

In legislation on private security companies, he said clauses included aspects to ensure working animals were cared for properly.