President George Manneh Weah has submitted to the House of Representatives bills to limit the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to legitimate medical and scientific progress.
The instruments submitted by President Weah for ratification include the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988.
Other instruments submitted include Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 (as amended by the 1972 protocol, amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961), and Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971.
According to President Weah, the primary objectives of these instruments are to limit the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to legitimate medical and scientific progress and to ensure that narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are available for medical and scientific purposes.
He observes that Liberia as a member state has not yet ratified these instruments, thereby posing hindrances in the execution of government’s task with the International Narcotic Control Board (INCB).He adds that Liberia will be unable to quantify the need for control substances and will experience an increase in mental health cases that require psychotropic substance.
He warns that this will lead to increased requirement in the country if Liberia does not ratify these conventions.Further, President Weah indicates that Liberia cannot decide its quota, thus making it difficult to provide the requisite medication to patients.
He explains that the decision makers at the INCB are not cognizant of the exact substances that are consumed in Liberia.President Weah informs the lawmakers that the prolonged civil war has resulted into the breakdown of every fabric of the society with law and order not being an exception.
He says some of the aftermaths of the civil war are substance abuse, which according to him is prominent among the youthful population here and the lack of stringent drug mechanism to ensure that mental health patients and other related conditions are grounded on evidence based therapy.
Meanwhile the House of Representatives has forwarded the communication to the Committees on Health, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and National Security to report within two weeks.By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley