23 May 2022

'Time to address drug problem in the country' says Samoan Supreme Court Justice

9:25 am on 23 May 2022

A Supreme Court Justice in Samoa is calling on the Government to appoint a task force to assist with the drug problem in the country, following the footstep of American Samoa's Government.

Senior Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson said every country needs all the help they can get to tackle the growing drug problem.

Speaking with Radio Polynesia Justice Vui said as a judge, he is tired of being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Samoa's acting Chief Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson

Samoa's acting Chief Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson Photo: SPC

Last week the American Samoa government appointed a 20-member Comprehensive Substance Abuse Council to co-ordinate efforts to fight drug use through education, enforcement, and treatment.

Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga said their territory's battle against drugs threatens culture, islands, and children, and the council is called on to save lives and reduce the terrible effects of illegal drugs on families and villages.

American Samoa’s Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga (left) and his deputy  Talauega Eleasalo Ale.

Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, on the left Photo: RNZ PACIFIC/Fili Sagapolutele

"For decades the disease of substance abuse, specifically methamphetamine, has impacted our territory; however, we must remain vigilant and tactful in our approach to finding a solution to its devastation," Mauga said.

Justice Vui told Radio Polynesia the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration should concentrate on prevention measures.

"Young men should also be helped to find alternative sources to earn income, rather than what is happening."

He said it is time to address the drug problem in the country.

In February police conducted four separate drug raids where hard drugs of methamphetamine were discovered in Samoa.