House Passes Drug Law

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Members of the House of Representatives last Thursday passed the amended version of the Drug and Substances Act of 2014, making it non-bailable.

   After several weeks of ratification and consultation, forty-three members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill to be passed.

   The decision of the House to amend the 2014 Drug and Substances Act is due to a communication from Grand Bassa County’s district#5 Representative, Thomas Goshua, praying that his colleagues make the law non-bailable.

   According to Representative Goshua, the 2014 Drug Act, before its amendment, was very weak and could not be used to fight illicit drugs and other harmful substances across the country.

   He said the new law seeks to make drug importation and handling non-bailable, as it also seeks to control illicit drugs and other drug-related substances.

   Addressing legislative reporters after the passage of the Act at his Capitol Building office, the Grand Bassa County lawmaker said the essence of the amendment is to give the law “teeth to bite”, adding that anyone caught will serve a prison term of twenty (20) years.

   “The bill is also recommending a special court for drug-related offenses, to speedily try drug cases,” he disclosed.

   Representative Goshua explained that his passion to fight drugs is drawn from the fact that drug is a “threat to national security and future generations. All well-meaning citizens should join the advocacy and educate people about the danger of drugs”.

   The Grand Bassa County district #5 Representative recommended that government constructs facilities for rehabilitation of drug users and institute a reintegration program, especially for disadvantaged youths, also called “zogoes”.

   Representative Goshua emphasized that he will lobby with his colleagues for budgetary support to empower the relevant institutions responsible to fight drugs in Liberia, like the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA).

   It has been reported that the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) has been trying to crack down drug dealers and users since the civil war ended, but there are significant challenges due to weak laws and logistical problems.

   Investigative report has shown that Liberia is both a transit point for drugs transportation from Western countries and Africa; it has also been alleged that Liberia produces marijuana on a small-scale.

   Though the fight against illicit drugs in Liberia is a challenging and an overwhelming undertaking, but with the new law the LDEA and other institutions in the country can be able to curtail the wide use of illicit drugs.

   Meanwhile, the Grand Bassa County district #5 Representative, Thomas A. Goshua, has appealed to his colleagues from the Liberian Senate to concur with the House’s engrossed bill seeking to make the importation of illicit drug non-bailable.

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