Tighten drug laws, say youth ... Students believe better policies would be more effective
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
HARRY LEE-QUEE, a sixth-form student at Jamaica College, wants a ban on all forms of drugs in Jamaica.
Speaking on Wednesday at a Youth Editors' forum hosted by The Gleaner at the Old Hope Road-based institution, Lee-Quee said politicians, over the years, have allowed a double standard, which has led to the spike in the number of teenagers abusing drugs.
"Why are liquor and cigarettes even legal if they kill millions of people every second, if you know they are bad for the masses, why make them legal in the first place? If you are going to ban the heroine, the cocaine, the marijuana, just ban everything," he said.
"What's the point of having the liquor and the cigarettes legal when they are killing the masses? he asked.
Likewise, André Curtis, a member of the panel who presented on laws that are in place to prevent drug abuse, called for tighter laws to be implemented against drug abuse among young people and also suggested that more needs to be done to enforce those that are in place.
"Important laws need to be enforced, for example, vendors should ask for verification before selling drugs to persons. There are laws that impose penalties on young people who take part in abuse activity. But the big question is, what are the measures that they have put in place to ensure full effectiveness and efficiency of these laws?"
"I believe the laws should be tighter, because it is harmful to young persons, and, just because it feels right, does not mean that it is right," he said.
Zebe Williams said, however, that implementing tighter laws would not solve the problem. Instead, he noted that policies should be implemented to guide students.
"Laws should be tighter, but I think that there should be some type of policy in place that helps students and educates them at the same time, instead of locking them away. Find programmes that help them to be educated on drug use, so that they can be aware of what it (drugs) can do to them," he charged.