AN INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS Strategic Report or INCSR produced by the Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the U.S. State Department suggests that While Liberia may not be a significant producer of illicit narcotics, local drug use – particularly of marijuana, is very common.
THE REPORT NAMES other drug usage as heroin (mostly smoked) and cocaine (snorted). According to the report, Liberian authorities have reported increasing prevalence of amphetamine-type stimulants and intravenous drug-use, with the existence of no reliable data on the prevalence of drug use or overall drug trafficking trends throughout the country. Other than marijuana, locally consumed drugs enter Liberia via commercial aircraft, maritime vessels, as well as across land borders by foot and vehicle traffic.
IT IS SECRET that alongside the widespread drug use across the country, uncontrollable production and trafficking – a problem which goes beyond just users, continue to hamper post-war recovery efforts toward human development.
LIBERIA’S ANTI-DRUG agency – the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA points fingers at farmers it accuses of being tempted to grow cannabis rather than other crops owing to its high profit-oriented nature and easy access in production areas, including Bong, Nimba and southeastern counties or trafficked in from neighboring Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
SADLY AND UNFORTUNATELY most narcotics users in Liberia are youths and middle-age men and women – most of whom are involved in criminal activities and other ‘bad sexual’ practices not befitting of human decency.
PERHAPS IT WAS against the backdrop of such a huge challenge for the nation that an ‘Anti-drug Bill’ was placed before the Liberian Legislature by Bong County Representative George Sylvester Mulbah about five years for enactment into law. The intent of such law when passed – as envisioned by the progenitor, is to capacitate/further strengthened our national resolve against narcotics.
BUT INTERESTINGLY, THE Bill remains ‘suppressed’ in the Liberian Senate after passage by the House of Representatives a few years ago, while drug traffickers and users continue to be on ‘holidays’ across the country.
WE CAN ONLY hope and continuously pray that the ‘robust’ nature of the Legislature this time as publicly pronounced by the Speaker of the House of Representative and President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate upon their return to the Capitol on Monday, January 11, 2016, will be truly characterized by the passage of the numerous public interests-driven “bills”, including Anti-drug Bill.
THIS IS A SERIOUS challenge to which Liberians will continue to hold their Representatives and Senators ahead of the election years – 2017 and 2021.