Jamaican marijuana seized by authorities in Antigua and Barbuda
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- On Wednesday, the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP), in a joint operation with the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (Coast Guard), intercepted a 65ft vessel with over 2,300 pounds of Jamaican marijuana, with an estimated street value of over EC$37 million.
The vessel, originating from Jamaica, was being operated by six Jamaican men whose ages range from 38 years old to 67 years old. The captain and his crew are assisting local officers with their investigations.
This is the third successful interdiction by the ONDCP for this week alone.
With June 26 observed as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is leading the global campaign to raise awareness about the major challenge that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially the young.
In Antigua and Barbuda there exist three programmes specifically targeting the youth.
1. The Substance Abuse Prevention Division offers a programme entitled “Moulding Young Minds”, where Grade 5 students are targeted with a goal to help students gain self awareness which will help them make better decisions, solve problems and deal more effectively with challenging situations (e.g. using drugs).
2. Crossroads offers a programme named “Breaking the Cycle”, which is currently active in 57 primary schools. The programme has been running for 14 continuous years and represent a partnership between Crossroads, the ministry of education, culture and youth affairs and the Mill Reef Fund. The objectives of the programme are as follows:
a. To promote abstinence for school age children at the third grade level.
b. To limit their drug use as adults with regard to the amount and frequency
c. To inhibit development of drug abuse
3. The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda DARE Programme has been in existence for 20 years and has graduated over 200 students. This programme is designed for children in grades 5 and 6. The programme facilitates two drug reduction curriculums:
a. The DDMM: Meaning DARE Decision Making Model which encompasses risk and consequences, peer pressure, dealing with stressful situations, bullying and helping others.
b. Keeping it REAL meaning R-refuse, E-explain, A-avoid, L-leave.