By: Jeremiah Sackie Cooper
Liberia-April 4, 2023: In the fight against the use of harmful substances in Liberia, Justice Forum Liberia, a local advocacy group is calling on the Government of Liberia to fully implement the 2014 drug law; thus leaving no stone unturned.
The group made the call when they gathered infront of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in protestation of the proliferation of the narcotics abuse in Liberia.
On November 10, 2022, the Legislature passed into law the “Controlled Drug and Substances Act of 2014’’. The law puts drug crime in two categories, making it non-billable and billable, depending on the gravity of the crime.
According to the Law, those who are involved in the importation, distribution, massive production and custody of illicit drugs shall not be granted the right to bail when caught in the act, while the end users of the drug shall have the right to bail when apprehended in the act.
During the protest, Justice Forum Liberia Executive Director, Mixson Kpakio said though the 2014 drugs law makes drugs trafficking illegal, government needs to do more much with apprehending and punishing illegal peddlers and importers.
” Drugs trafficking is illegal in Liberia but what we know is that the law is not enforced when it comes to punishment for those that are caught selling those drugs,” he noted.
Kpakio furthered that there is always a report of huge drugs being confiscated by the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency based the country’s failure to deal with drug cases. Kpakio also said that several strange drugs including “KUSH” continue to enter the country and keep damaging many young Liberia due to the inability of the government to protect its citizens.
“The moment our government begin to punish all drug traffickers in Liberia, we know the use of the drug will be minimised. But we will not rest, we will keep calling on the government of Liberia on the negative impact of drugs on the youthful population and our country. We continue to see our youths dying every day. It is now time that the government act.” He added.
It can be recalled in October 2022, the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency with the help of the US Government confiscated 100 Million Worth of Drugs through the port of Monrovia. The Casr is currently before the court in Monrovia. Recently, the Judge prosecuting the case expressed dismay over the Ministry of Justice refusal to provide transportation means for jurors within the trial.
It is reported that most time Government lose cases related to Illegal Drugs trade and violence against women, others based on the lack of support to the judicial system.
Meanwhile, the consumption of illegal and harmful substances continues to increase by the day. Recently, a strange and dangerous drug known as KUSH was discovered in Neighboring Sierra Leone which is now in Liberia.
KUSH is a high-grade cannabis which is also known as K2. According to Germany International Broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are grappling with an increasing number of young people becoming addicted to the substances, with several others losing their lives to the drug. Kush is rolled up, eaten, vaped and smoke like a cigarette. Its effect is far greater than marijuana.
Justice Forum Liberia is a social justice advocacy organisation based in Liberia. The group seek to make her presence felt in the area of advocacy aimed at combating ills in Liberian society through the virtual of speaking the truth. Justice Forum Liberia over the years continued to fight for the equal treatment of Liberians, against bad governance, gender equality and rape among others.