MONROVIA-President George Weah has signed into law the Control Drug and Substance Act of 2023, commonly called the Drug Law.

The President carried out the landmark duty on July 12 after the Drug Bill was recently passed by the Legislature following months of thoughtful introspections and deliberations.

The new law is to regulate, restrict, control, limit, or eradicate the illegal export and importation as well as the flagrant use, abuse, and proliferation of narcotic substances within the bailiwick of the Republic.

The law, in part, provides penalties for specified offenses such as the unlicensed and unauthorized importation of controlled drugs or substances into the country.

The law, for example, states that “A person commits an offense if he/she purposely or knowingly imports into Liberia any controlled drugs or substances without a license from the Minister.”

It further added, “The offense of unlicensed importing of controlled drug or substances shall be graded as where the subject matter of the offense is a drug or substances,” as prescribed by the Act.

It further states that “the person shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree and punishable to a prison of a maximum of ten years and not exceeding twenty years consistent with provisions of the Penal Code 1, Section 50.5 and 50.6.”

It is clearly noted that the offense shall be a grave offense and shall not be bailable.

The Act outlines where the subject matter of the offense is a drug or substances listed in schedule II, III and lV of the Law to be used for the purpose of trafficking, the person shall be guilty of a second-degree felony punishable to a prison term of not less than five years and not exceeding ten years pursuant to the provisions of Section 50.5 and 50.6 of the Penal Law of Liberia.

“As to the matter of bail,” the Act states, “Only cash to the value of the bond or cash’ deposit in the bank to the value of the bond as evidenced by a bank certificate.” 

With regards to the unlicensed manufacture of controlled drugs or substances, a person commits an offense if he engages in the manufacture or preparation of any drugs or substances listed in Schedules I, II, lll, IV, or precursor or essential chemicals listed in Table I and Table II of the Act without a license.

According to the law, such a person shall be “guilty of a felony of the first degree and, if used otherwise, shalt be guilty of a second-degree felony and shall face jail sentence between l0 to 20 years or as prescribed in Section 50.5 and 50.5 of the Penal Law of Liberia.”

The passage and subsequent signing of the law further signify President Weah’s commitment to fighting illegal drugs and substance abuse, a menace that has plagued society, endangering and rubbing thousands of Liberian youths of a better future.

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