Legislature Votes Drug-related Offenses Non-bailable

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The House of Representatives has concurred with the Senate to make narcotics-related offenses “non-bailable crime under the laws of Liberia.”

This development comes on the heels of claims from the international community that Liberia has become the transit point for drug traffickers from Equatorial Guinea to ship narcotics to the Americas, Europe and other places around the world.

The new drug law was championed in the Senate by a few senators including Jewel Howard Taylor who maintained that previous laws were aging and did not conform to present day realities.

Members of the House Tuesday, June 17, voted overwhelmingly to endorse a report from the Joint Committee on National Security and judiciary to strengthen Liberia’s drugs laws and protect the territorial space from narcotic drugs traffickers and users from other parts of the world.

The Joint Committee amended Chapter 14 of the Panel Law of Liberia title, “Offensive Involving Danger to Person” adding thereto Subchapter under the title (“Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of 2014”) thereby amending the Act creating the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Said action by the Legislature fine-tuned Liberia’s current drugs laws which make offenses in this area “bailable,” a law many drugs users and traffickers largely relied on to engage in the art.  

According to Sinoe County Representative Jefferson S. Kanmoh, a lead campaigner for the draft legislation, the intent was to domesticate international protocols and treaties relative to drug abuses and trafficking and keep a “firm grip” on a system designed to curtail and discourage drugs offenses.

In an interview with newsmen, Rep. Kanmoh disclosed that there are categories of offenses and degrees of punishment for violators ranging from “first and second degree felony to violation.”

“We’re happy for this law today. This should serve as a deterrent to those who are in the constant habit of using our territory for such unlawful practice. Law enforcement authorities must also be warned of the danger in being a collaborator or aiding and abetting criminal activities,” Rep. Karmoh stressed.

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