May 19, 2009, 7:01 AM
The need for The Gambia to launch an invigorated and zero-tolerance approach to deal with the menace of drugs is, of course, obvious. No country wants to have a reputation as a den of dealers, and with worldwide attention suddenly drawn to the problem, The Gambia needs to be seen to be doing something about it.
Drug trafficking is an international threat, which requires international cooperation to tackle it once and for all.
The government should be committed to working with other international partners to bring to bear the rule of law in dealing with drug traffickers. Drug dealers need to know that the laws, which are in place, will be applied, and the government needs to ensure that this is the case. Laws need to be more stringently enforced and, moreover, tougher in the first place.
Drugs are related to crime in multiple ways. Most directly, it is a crime to use, possess, manufacture, or distribute drugs classified as having a potential for abuse (such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and amphetamines).
Drugs are also related to crime through the effects they have on the user's behaviour and by generating violence, and other illegal activities in connection with drug trafficking.
The UN anti-drugs agency says governments have every reason to be vigilant, and should introduce strict laws to check the spread and use of "date-rape" drugs, and the even more rampant abuse of prescription drugs.
"Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes with your self esteem."