Pubdate: Thu, 17 Jan 2008
Source: National, The (New Guinea)
Copyright: 2008, The National
Author: Zachery Per
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


The people of Kakagl village one, two and three in  Gembogl district, 
Simbu province, have been praised for  their move to quit cultivating 
and consuming marijuana.

Simbu provincial police commander Supt Joseph Tondop  heaped praise 
on members of Kakagl one, two and three  villages, located near the 
Gembogl district office, for  being the first villages in Gembogl to 
say no to  marijuana.

He also commended the rural police commander of Gembogl  Sgt David 
Kerenga and local leaders for their courage  in helping change the 
people's attitude.

A total of 100 people actively involved in the business  of 
cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana for  more than 10 
years testified in public how they got  involved in the marijuana 
business and why they were  saying no to marijuana.

An 18-year-old youth said "I don't want to cause any  more problems 
for the village, because while I am under  the influence of marijuana 
I am always forced to steal  domesticated animals and cause 
unnecessary fight with  village elders".

Another said, "I am saying no to marijuana to lead by  example so 
that the young ones know that cultivation,  sale and consumption of 
marijuana is illegal and not  accepted by the society.

They vowed to assist police by reporting anyone from  their village 
or surrounding villages who was  cultivating marijuana or producing 
steamed homebrew  liquor for sale.

They also warned people from outside of Gembogl not to  travel into 
Gembogl to buy marijuana because they would  be arrested and referred 
to police.

Supt Tondop assured the community leaders that he would  provide all 
the assistance that were necessary to  ensure the youths in these 
villages live a life free  from marijuana and homebrew.

He also said he would extend the community policing  into the area 
with assistance from their local MP Joe  Mek Teine.

Supt Tondop said 80% of the total population of youths  in urban 
centres like Kundiawa and main districts were  taking illicit drugs 
such as marijuana and steam. That  is because they are cheap and easy 
to have access to.

He said he would use community policing officers based  in Kundiawa 
to extend massive awareness programmes on  the effects of marijuana 
and associated problems  affecting the community.
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