By: Varney Dukuly
MONROVIA: The 54th Legislature through the plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday acted upon a conference committee report to pass the much-publicized drug law while pitching the instrument to the Executive for President Weah’s affirmation and signature.
The passage of the drug law comes on the heels of the celebration of the ‘International Day Against Drug’ which was also observed across Liberia with series of activities befitting the day.
In a heated debate during Tuesday sitting, some lawmakers highlighted the need to pass the drug law due to the growing negative impact of narcotic drugs and other dangerous substances on the youthful population in Liberia.
According to the Lawmakers, the issue of drug has become a threat not only to national security but the smooth movement of ordinary business men and women in the commerce of Liberia.
“Drug is killing our young people. Even in my district, and I know many of us here will attest that in your various districts, drug is becoming an issue,” said Rep. James Kolleh of electoral District in Bong County.
Recently, analysts say the arrest of the 100 million United States Dollar worth of drugs that passed through the country’s main port of entry the Freeport of Monrovia, leaves many to believe that Liberia has become a transit point for illicit narcotics substances. The outcome of the US$100 drug trafficking case in Liberia, raised more eyebrows as all four accused persons were found not guilty in a Liberian court, although according to the government, and other international partners, there were overwhelming evidence to prove charges levied against the accused by the state.
Interestingly, hours later, all of the four men who were found not guilty for the drug importation fled Liberia to an unknown destination.
Ghettos are springing out in every community as local drugs use like marijuana; ‘kush’ heroin and cocaine are gradually killing members of this generation that predominately comprises young people.
The bicameral Legislature decision yesterday to amend the Drug and Substance Act of 2014, making the drug law billable and non-billable given the gravity of the crime is now expected to help in bringing much-needed relief to parents and others who are being stressed as they combat drug importation, proliferation and addiction.
The new drug law among other things notes that 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 a bail when apprehended in the commission of the act.
Prior to the passage of the law, there have been mounting cries from Liberians and foreign residents urging the government to take swift actions though not much has been heard about the government efforts.
Observers are of the view that drug law in terms of its implementation has suffered setbacks amidst hundred and thousands of young people across the country whose lives are being destroyed by drugs.
Many including mothers have weighed in on the drug saga in Liberia with different descriptions and narratives, questioning increase importation amidst its adverse effects on the youthful Liberian population.
Most recently, Charlyne Brumskine, an opposition politician before a crowd of supporters decried the prevailing drug crisis facing vast majority of the young people who are seeing as ‘zombies’ in their own country with almost lack of concern from state authority to address the menace.
“I want you to hear what I am coming to say, young people I am here to speak to you. If one of you have ten friends, if you don’t change the person within this country, in the next 12 months one of these ten men will be dead. It is very serious, there is a crisis,” said Charlyne Brumskine.
Ms. Brumskine has declared that there is a drug crisis and there is nothing for the people to celebrate as a defining moment when the pages of history books are opened.