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Over pervasive spread of Kush among young population: Youth Minister warns Drug Lords, Importers, Dealers

HomeAYV NewsOver pervasive spread of Kush among young population: Youth Minister warns Drug...

Over pervasive spread of Kush among young population: Youth Minister warns Drug Lords, Importers, Dealers

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Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura has send a sent a clear and unwavering message to the drug lords – the importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers who profit from the spread of Kush that justice will be served.

He said just as the victims of substance abuse suffer the consequences of their actions, so too will those who perpetuate this destructive cycle, adding that the law will not turn a blind eye to those who prey on vulnerable individuals for their own gain.

Speaking to AYV exclusively, Minister Bangura said: “I am deeply troubled by the pervasive spread of Kush among our young population. We will hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure that they pay the equal price for their actions as the victims.

“This issue transcends social boundaries, affecting both the rich and the poor, as evidenced by revelations within government circles. It is a national crisis that demands urgent and collective action from all sectors of society.

“The government through the National Youth Policy – 2020 (page 40) stated its drive to addressing substance abuse aimed at promoting and establishing safe communities for the young people. We have established a rehabilitation center to rehabilitate victims of substance abuse.

“I commend the efforts of individuals and institutions advocating, sensitizing, and empowering victims genuinely behind the cameras. Just as we successfully tackled the issue of “pampas Water” through collaboration between the Ministries of Youth and Health, community leaders, and engaged citizens, we believe that together we can overcome this current challenge. Your commitment to supporting and uplifting those affected is instrumental in creating a safer and healthier environment for our young people.

“However, it is appalling to witness individuals (self-prescribed advocates and social media influencers) exploiting vulnerable youth for the sake of social media notoriety, perpetuating a cycle of harm and endangerment. This behavior is not only morally reprehensible but also criminal, and those responsible must be held accountable – paying the victims to say negative things, buying the drug for the victims to capture that on camera and sit with the victims as they smoke to get evidence of the act.

“There are videos circulating around of those exploiting the victims and situation. This is unacceptable and must be condemned. The act of experimenting the substance abuse itself is a crime.

“The insidious practice of incentivizing victims to engage in destructive behavior for the sake of online content is abhorrent and must be swiftly addressed. We call upon law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who are complicit in fueling this destructive trend.

“We must stand united in our commitment to safeguarding the well-being and future of our youth, ensuring they are protected from such exploitative and harmful influences. Together, we will dismantle the networks that profit from the suffering of our young people and work towards a future where safety, health, and well-being are prioritized above all else”.

In a similar development, Sierra Leone’s Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Bundu has called on the authorities to rein on the manufacturers, importers and distributors of the synthetic drug, Kush.

He said: “Some of these people are known by the authorities and action must be taken now and we must tolerate no sacred cow.”

Dr. Bundu called for concerted action at national, regional, and international levels to deal effectively with the manufacture, distribution and marketing of synthetic drugs across borders noting that youths will only use the drugs when they are available and emphasising the urgent need for new policies from government and legislations from Parliament.

“Unless this is done quickly, the menace will continue to grow, and soon it will become a serious threat to our national security and the future of our nation,” he added.

The Speaker therefore called on all relevant Committees of Parliament to work together and propose prompt and effective measures to address the problem. He said the delay will compound the problem as it will grow more and more dangerous and consume the whole country.

“Action must come from within the country, and we should not depend on outsiders to come and solve this problem for us. So let’s galvanize the necessary national efforts,” he ended.

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