President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has finally approved the anti-drug law, but it is yet to be printed into handbills by authorities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.
The approval of the anti-doping law followed its undisputed passage on June 25 this year by members of the National Legislature on Capitol Hill.
The “Controlled Drugs and Substances Act” is an addendum to Chapter 14 of the new penal law of Liberia under the title, “offenses involving danger to the person.”
Consistent with the United Nations conventions and protocols on narcotics and psychotropic substances of 1961, 1971 and 1988 to which Liberia is a signatory, a state party is required to create a specialized agency and enact laws to ensure compliance and security of the people within its borders against narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, illicit precursors or chemicals.
Under the approved legal framework, drug traffickers and hard-core drug users risk being punished for possession – a first degree non-bailable crime.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is under the strict mandate to regulate policy that will ensure the effectiveness of the new drug law in the best interest of the state and its people.
DEA authorities are yet to speak on the matter, but sources say they are preparing to undertake massive public education so as to put the public on the proper guide as it relates to the significance of the law on drugs.
Sources quote DEA Director Anthony K. Souh as saying that, “now Liberia has won for itself the long awaited legal authority that will certainly add value to her intent to join the international community in fighting dangerous substances that have the potential to undermine national peace and security.”
According to an insider, the Director is of the opinion that with the birth of this legal frame work, drug traffickers and users should now believe that the country has graduated from the state of vulnerability to a point where the law on drugs will henceforth speak decisively in the supreme interest of public safety.
He is quoted as praising the wisdom of President Sirleaf and the members of the National Legislature for their political will that has led to the finality of the law which, according to him, will reverse the culture of drug trafficking, drug production and sale across the country.