Sierra Leone officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Guinea to the northeast, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. The country has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests.
Although cannabis is illegal in Sierra Leone, its use is widely tolerated, and cultivation has become increasingly important to the rural economy. However, perceived threats to the food production capacity of the country have caused growing concern among policy-makers, and law enforcement agencies are beginning to clamp down on the trade. The country has tightened drug laws, allocated a larger budget for counter-narcotics operations, and introduced stricter penalties for drug-related offenses. Drug law enforcement is mainly carried out by the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOCU), a team of elite agents funded by the UNODC and various countries in the region.
In 2012, widespread police efforts led to the eradication of over 100 acres of cannabis plantations just outside the capital Freetown. The operation was spearheaded by the Transnational Organised Crime Unit (TOCU), a force comprised of police and military agents that usually deals with serious crimes such as cocaine trafficking and fraud; although cannabis is usually seen as less serious than cocaine, the recent spike in cultivation has led officials to re-prioritise it.
According to the laws of Sierra Leone in terms of drugs, “a person who, without lawful authority prepares, extracts, manufactures, produces,or cultivates a prohibited drug; collects, transports, imports, exports,transships or transmits any prohibited drug;supplies, administers, sells, exposes or offers for sale or otherwise deals in or with any prohibited drug,commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment.”
- Cannabis in Sierra Leone (October 24, 2013), Sensi Seeds
- Laws and legal news about marijuana in Sierra Leone (2014), Marijuana Travels