Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah has presented a bill to the plenary of the House of Representatives seeking ratification of some key instruments against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
In his communication to plenary on Thursday, 1 August 2019, President Weah said the instruments to be ratified are the United Nations Convention against illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances of 1988.
Others are the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (as amended by the 1972 protocol amending the single convention on narcotic drugs) of 1961 and the Convention on psychotropic Substances of 1971.
The Liberian leader indicated that the objectives of the instruments are to limit the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to legitimize medical and scientific progress and to ensure that narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are available for medical and scientific purposes.
He further stated that Liberia, as a UN member State, has not ratified these instruments thereby posing hindrances in the execution of the task with the International Narcotic Control Board (INCB).
“We will be unable to quantify the need for controlled substances; and will experience an increased requirement in the country, if we do not ratify these conventions,” he said.
The Liberian leader also said that “our prolonged civil war has resulted into the breakdown of every fabric of our society, with law and order not being an exception. Some of the aftermaths of the civil
war is substance abuse, which is prominent among our youthful population and lack of stringent drug mechanism to ensure that treatment of mental health patients and other related conditions are
grounded on evidence-based therapy.”
President Weah said Liberia cannot decide its quota, thus making it difficult to provide the requisite medication to patients, and the decision-makers at the INCB are not aware of the exact substances that are consumed in Liberia.
“Honourable Speaker, I trust that the Legislature will ratify these Conventions which seek to improve the mental health situation in our country,” the President explained.
Based upon a communication from Gbarpolu County District #1 Representative, Alfred Koiwood, the communication was sent to the committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Health and Security to
review, investigate and report to plenary in two weeks.