MY SAY : If It Is Difficult To Know It Is Probably Illegal

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • File photo of marijuana plants by the bagful from a police raid in one village
    File photo of marijuana plants by the bagful from a police raid in one village

Do we have in Samoa an addiction problem for users of illegal drugs?  The Ministry of Health cannot tell and so too does the Ministry of Police.

The only place that can give us some idea is the court system.  Charges of illegal drug possession are common but whether it is for personal use or to earn income or both is difficult to tell.

Marijuana whether it is grown or just grows from the natural process of distribution by animals, wind or water, grows well in Samoa. 

Growers keep it secret because it is illegal but it is not a secret that the plant is capable of growing anywhere. 

We all know our soil is rich and fertile for these God created plants to grow.  Man has made the innocent plant illegal with the abuse of self and of others.

If cannabis do grow wildly and readily available to anyone with an interest in the ‘magical effects’ it produces, is it possible we do have addicted users?  Why not?

There is a growing trend to legalise marijuana but that is another argument.

Serious law and medical concerns lean more towards the seriously addictive drugs like methamphetamine.  Many have shortened it down to just meth while on the streets  it is ‘ice’.

This is heavy stuff that can get people hooked and into all kinds of problems not just with the law.  

We have all been warned or made to know how it damages our health, drain our pockets and set us off into a path of self destruction, just to name a few.

This is where users addiction zooms into the picture.  But where do we start if nobody seems to know where these drug addicts are?

We have our suspicions.  When we see some of the youth walking around aimlessly in town, obviously with mental issues, the tendency is to blame drug use or abuse.

Maybe it is maybe it is not.  There are professional people who would know but three or four young people with abnormal behaviour on the streets do not constitute a drug addiction problem.

Our law enforcement authorities have their suspicions. 

If Samoa is regarded as one of the island countries, used by South American drug cartels as doorways to more lucrative markets in New Zealand, Australia and beyond, then we should be flooded already.

The regional consensus is that we are.  

When an alcohol drinker shows no outward signs of intoxication after several drinks he or she stands to earn respect as a person who can hold his/her liquor.

What if you are an illegal drug user who can hold his/her ‘drug trip’?

By the way, how can you as an average person, tell  the difference between a drunk and a drug user on a high?

Not knowing what is what, makes our hunt for addicted users of illegal drugs that much harder than what we may have thought so in the beginning.

Lets not lose sight of the fact that these users are indulging in what is illegal.  Unlike an alcoholic who can sway and stumble all he wants, nobody is going to lock him up, unless it is to get him sobered up.

It is usually done for his own protection and safety. 

An illegal drug user is not going to do that if he can help it.  If he does, there is a very good chance a warrant for his arrest will be waiting for possession of illegal drugs when he ‘comes down’. He knows that all too well.

So where does that leave us with our problem of illegal drug addiction for users who maybe desperately in need of rehabilitation help?

Should we leave it to the wisdom of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’?  

What about urgency? Should there be a rush for solutions or leave it to our ‘all in good time’ island pace?