12 Apr 2004

Samoa drugs inmates lose weekend parole

5:13 pm on 12 April 2004

Police in Samoa say they have stopped granting weekend parole to inmates jailed for drugs offences as part of efforts to stem marijuana consumption.

A police spokesman, Ulugia Mata'u. has told Samoan television that for the past 15 years there has never been a year with a drop in the number of people charged with marijuana related offences.

And it says this has come despite a Supreme Court policy to jail all drugs offenders.

Legal aid is no longer available for those charged with such offences because their number had increased so rapidly to make the service unaffordable for the justice department.

Police have also set up a post at the Fugalei market in the capital in a bid to deter dealers.