Consuming illegal drugs and exaggerating those that are legal are both detrimental, reason why all must work in synergy to curb its cultivation, trafficking and intake.
If there is one thing that Cameroonians of goodwill can agree on; irrespective of where they hail from, then it is the nefarious consequences of drug abuse. Be they legal such as alcohol, tobacco…, or unlawful like cannabis, unauthorised tramadol, Diazepam, benzodiapines, cocaine, etc., consuming them greatly jeopardizes the life of citizens and the socio-economic development of the country.
Recent statistics by officials of the Technical Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Fight against the Cultivation of Marijuana are, to say the least, frightening.
According to Anatole Maina, Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat, “60 per cent of youths, aged 20 to 25, regardless of their places of residence, have consumed drugs.” More disturbing are startling revelations that, “ some 12,000 school-going youths especially aged 13 to 15 consume cannabis which is the hardest drug youths consume, followed by unauthorised tramol or tramadol.”
When one examines in detail the destructive consequences of these drugs and looks at the behaviour of the addicts, there is every reason to worry.
There have been repeated cases of gendarmerie crackdown on lawless citizens either cultivating or trafficking the drugs. How successful the onslaught has been may be difficult to measure. But from every indication, old habits are hard to die.
Reason why reports of students caught misbehaving on and off campus after taking drugs, crime wave on a rise and diverse drug-triggered misdemeanors have not ceased to animate household talks and media debates. Knowledge, they say, is power and the absence of it leads to destruction.
Thus, wide-ranging crusade against the cultivation and or fabrication, spread and irresponsible consumption of the drugs, like what an inter-ministerial committee is doing at moment, is certainly laudable. It has at least the propensity to win back many who might have been peer-pressured into consuming the dangerous substances. Better late, they say, than never.
Government’s announcement that several ministries will be brought into drafting diverse youth-empowerment programmes could offer alternatives to the sometimes idle perpetrators of the drugs. Promoting the cultivation of alternative crops that are of a high marketing value and have a short production cycle as well as various forms of support in the areas of livestock farming and fishing would immediately impact on the lives of the youths.
Offers like Support Programme to Young Farmers, the Programme for the Improvement of the Competitiveness of Family Agro pastoral Farms (ACEFA), the Support Programme for the Renovation and Development of Vocational Training in the livestock, agricultural and fisheries sectors, among others, announced by public authorities, are said to be instruments put in place to curb idleness among youth.
The youths however need in-depth drilling on how to access the projects and maximize the benefits they offer. Spreading them to all parts of the country would occupy so many youths and take them off wrongdoing given that an idle mind, pundits belief, is almost always a devil’s workshop.
Legislation obviously needs to be strengthened against the ill. Fortunately, current crusaders against the ill say, “government is finalizing a reflection aimed at tightening the legislation on the repression of the cultivation, trafficking and consumption of narcotics as well as the methods of destroying the seized drugs.” Tackling the problem from the roots is imperative!.