Komba Kemoh | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Komba Kemoh

Assistant Superintendent of Police
Komba Kemoh
Assistant Superintendent of Police - Sierra Leone

"Legalized regulation of drugs would add to the foreign-exchange earnings of any country that has accommodated that idea."

Komba Kemoh

Komba Kemoh is Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sierra Leone, a country whose government favors drug prohibition. As in the US, Komba notes, "my own country has also failed" on this front. He watched in 2001 as Sierra Leone adopted the Pharmacy and Drugs Act, a battery of legislation ramping up his country's "War on Drugs." Komba's 13 years of law-enforcement experience has taught him that this new legislation will also add up to nothing more than "a waste of human and material resources." Worse, he says, this increased prohibitionism will simply drive the price of illicit drugs upwards - creating an ever-more-dangerous underground market.

What Komba advocates is legalized regulation, plain and simple. While this would reduce both the crime and the casualties that prohibition necessitates, from the lack of quality control, Komba knows legalization would also help his country's job market. "People would be gainfully employed in cultivation and marketing," Komba asserts. He agrees with the World Health Organization and the Senlis Council that legalizing drugs would allow poor farmers to grow opium poppies and cannabis, which could be prescribed for use as medicinal purposes in developing countries, whose people (80 percent of the world's population) cannot afford expensive pharmaceuticals.

Komba also avers that legalization would help reduce corruption in the police force. "Police officers, Customs officers, and court officials who are paid by the government to enforce prohibition are also involved in trafficking and consumption." For all his government's efforts, Komba points out that the acreage dedicated to the production of illicit drugs is generally on the rise. He is in a unique position to understand this synthesis of factors because, aside from being a police officer who himself has been involved in drug confiscation (and seen the fruitlessness of it), he also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.

Upon becoming familiar with LEAP, Komba says, "I had no alternative but to become a part of it." He now plans to preach legalization in his country to "the attorney general and minister of justice, the director of public prosecutions, the inspector general of police, and all other local and international non-governmental organizations who stand for prohibition rather than control and regulation of drugs through that legalization."