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Monday, October 2, 2023

Gambia registers 1,629 drugs cases in 3 years

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By Aminata S Kuyateh

The minister of interior, Seyaka Sonko, has revealed that the country registered 1629 cases of drug-related cases involving 1665 accused persons from January 2021 to April 2023.

In a statement marking the international day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, Minister Sonko said the drug law enforcement agency also seized nearly six tons of cannabis, close to four tons of cocaine, and more than eighteen thousand assortments of controlled drugs ranging from ecstasy, diazepam, clonazepam, methamphetamine, and bronazepam, among others. During this period, he added, the agency also seized significant quantities of hashish, skunk, and kush.

Minister Sonko said June 26 is observed throughout the world to reflect the renewed commitment of the international community towards strengthening measures and cooperation against illicit drug trafficking, drug abuse, and related transnational organised crimes.

This year’s commemoration will be held under the theme “Stop stigma and discrimination and strengthen prevention”.

Minister Sonko said the theme highlights the importance of implementing a balanced, integrated, multi-sectoral approach between supply suppression and drug demand reduction initiatives focusing on prevention, treatment, and care, harm reduction, and alternative livelihood programs and activities.

He said Africa alone is projected to account for 40 percent of the estimated 11 percent global increase in drug use by 2030.

“Similarly, the report indicated a substantial disconnect between real risk and public perception regarding the usage of cannabis. It states that while the potency of cannabis quadrupled, there was a 40% decrease in the perception of youth who perceive it to be harmful,” he said.

He said in 2019 alone, drugs usage accounted for the deaths of 500, 000 people across the globe.

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