Officials of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia (DLEAG) in Soma in the Lower River Region recently sensitised communities in Soma on the legal implications of prohibited drugs and its side effects on the youth and society as a whole.
The exercise held at the Alkalo’s compound, attracted elders and members of the Village Development Community (VDC) in Soma among a cross-section of the community.
Welcoming the gathering, Arafang Demba Darboe, the Alkalo of Soma, explained the rationale behind the move, saying it came as a result of a request from the Office of the DLEAG in Soma.
ASP Dawda Badjie, the Officer Commanding of DLEA in Soma, underscored the importance of the meeting, saying it was designed to reach to local community elders in Soma and sensitise them on the legal implications of prohibited drugs especially on youths and the society as a whole.
ASP Badjie used the forum to thank the elders and youth for honoring their invitation.
Sergeant Adama Bah, who spoke on the legal implications of prohibited drugs, explained that the fine for possession of drugs ranges from D50,000 to D250,000 and a 3-year imprisonment or both.
“While trafficking of more than two-kilos of Cannabis sativa carries a fine of One million and 10-year imprisonment or both.” he told the participants.
Sgt Bah added that obstruction of DLEA officers also carries a fine of D50,000 and 5-years imprisonment.
Presenting on the effects of prohibited drugs, Corporal Saaba Baldeh, the Regional DLEAG in LRR, said there are two types of drugs; (1) illicit drugs, which are either manufactured or grown locally like cannabis sativa or heroin opium, and controlled drugs that includes: Diazepam, Eromazepam etc.
According to him, these drugs are psychotropic drugs and that they required an authoritative medical certificate.
“Anybody found in possession of these control drugs without a medical certificate has committed an offence and can be prosecuted in a court of law.”
Baldeh explain that the side effects of drugs are not only costly but it is also health risky in the sense that it causes stimulant depression and perturbation.
He noted that prohibited drugs can also cause the abuser especially men to lose their manhood by becoming sexually inactive.
Kebba Darboe, chairman of Soma Village Development Committee (VDC), thanked the DLEA Office in Soma for the initiative.
He calls for similar forums so as to sensitise more communities in the same area.
Other speakers included; Sulayman Sanyang, Stationed Officer of Soma DLEAG.
by Salifu M Touray