Recent statistics released by Lae’s Drug Squad reveals that more youths under 20 are arrested with small to medium quantities of marijuana and 5 are arrested daily.
Lae City is central inthe drug trade. Large kilograms of marijuana are smuggled in fromthe highlands and are sold in small packs to consumers aroundthe city.
This trade has grown into an epidemic that involves youths of all ages.
The Lae drug squad has confirmed that youths from 15 years old make upthe highest number of those arrested.
“The age group is between 15-17 years old,” said Constable Albert Bela ofthe Lae Drug Squd.
The average number arrested daily is five. Some ofthese youths are forced into this situation by urban poverty.
“Parents neglecttheir children, forcingthem to sell drugs to survive”, Constable Bela said.
The strain now is on Morobe Province’s only correctionalInstitute, Beimo Jail. 70 percent of those are drug offenders.
Churches are also concerned withthe issue.
Christian Outreach Center’s Senior Pastor, John Garu said givethem a youth development centre and a rehabilitation program to add meaning in life.
ther Non-Government Organizations’ and church groups in Lae echothe same sentiments.