News / Africa

Liberia Burns $4 Million Worth of Marijuana

U.N. and Liberian Drug Enforcement Agency officials destroy a stash of marijuana in Paynseville, near Monrovia, Nov. 15, 2013.
U.N. and Liberian Drug Enforcement Agency officials destroy a stash of marijuana in Paynseville, near Monrovia, Nov. 15, 2013.
Jennifer Lazuta
Liberia’s Drug Enforcement Agency destroyed nearly 300 kilograms of marijuana Friday evening in a suburb of the country’s capital, Monrovia.
Part of a new nationwide crackdown on drug traffickers, officials say the drugs were smuggled into the West African country from neighboring Sierra Leone by a member of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s motorcade staff.
The presidential aide, Perry Dolo, used an official vehicle to transport the marijuana. He and at least three other men with whom he was traveling were arrested shortly after crossing the border.
Liberia’s Information Minister, Lewis Brown, said the burning was to show that there will be no tolerance for drug-related crimes.
"You can be in the center of a convoy, but if you break the law, there will be no hiding place for you," he said. "That convoy will not hide you. We will arrest you, we will properly investigate you, and, as has been done, we will prosecute you in keeping with our laws. This crackdown will continue. It’s a nationwide crackdown."
Liberia has a long history of drug problems. While it is illegal to grow, buy or sell marijuana in Liberia, penalties for drug offenders are minimal and have rarely been enforced.
Farmers throughout the country continue to produce and distribute marijuana, and the smuggling of drugs from Sierra Leone remains a problem.
Nick More, a 35-year-old resident of Monrovia’s West Point community, said he applauds the government for this latest crackdown on drug traffickers, but that more needs to be done.
"You cannot say you want to fight drugs war when farmers in Liberia are planting, are growing marijuana," he said. "So I think what the government should be thinking of doing now is to move on those that are planting marijuana in our country. If the government does that, I think they will be moving in the right direction."
The government has not said what they will do about the marijuana farming inside Liberia.

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Comment Sorting
by: from: Dallas, TX
November 25, 2013 5:57 PM
It's a great thing for the government to stop crime, but they could of used it medicinally.

by: Tyrone Swen
November 24, 2013 7:49 PM
These investigations will be an easy success for the Liberian Law enforcement and I will applaud and appreciate them for their efforts because they will be taking a step towards improving the government.. As for the government though, do not comment on this, it's not worth commenting on, especially from the president. Let that county enforcement chief, give the proper address to the community. Keep the Government focused on the bigger problem at hand and put their minds together and develop a solution to Liberia's economic decline. At the end of the day the real solution is oil. Focus on getting that oil money and exporting whatever we can get and investing within our economy..... I will continue this effort after i complete my studies in the states. until then God bless and it's warming to hear good news from our Country. Keep it up! A change will come soon and i claim it in the name of Jesus

by: CHRISPANE Tweh from: USA
November 19, 2013 1:56 PM
The government should come down on dose that are planning it.

by: Foday James from: Australia
November 19, 2013 4:48 AM
Liberia is to fight time drugs cartel who make fortunes on drugs while country is going down the gutter. How can the law be enforced when those in power are helping the drug dealers? It will take time to clean up the miss that has deeply entrenched in the country's underbellies blood to enrich themselves with drugs money.

by: Karlar
November 18, 2013 12:09 AM
Great progress is making towards drugs trafficking.

by: Alan Bernstein from: California
November 17, 2013 10:09 PM
We have been "cracking down" on marijuana here in the U.S. for over 7 decades. We have spent billions of dollars on a failed "war on drugs," only to see more people using, more arrests, more incarcerations, more ruined lives. It is time to legalize and regulate marijuana, time to treat it like alcohol and tobacco, drugs that are far more harmful.

by: Robert Therrien from: Ortonville, Michigan
November 17, 2013 12:43 PM
Don't burn that marijuana! Send it to me here in Michigan si I can give it away to those with medical problems that are qualified under Michigan law to use marijuana.
When you burn marijuana, all you do is give the people of the world a samml dose of marijuana's THC content and add to the global warming process.

by: knowa
November 16, 2013 10:11 PM
1,800 gallons of ethanol per acre. Food, Fiber Medicine. End this madness legalize.

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