Drug dealers target elementary school students

The Jakarta Post, page 2

Amid ample supply of cannabis, both home-grown and imported, authorities are warning about rampant consumption of the drug, including among elementary school students in Jayapura, Papua.

Random checks by the Jayapura Police have found students using marijuana bought from dealers around their schools.

Insp. Gen. Budi Bambang Santoso, the head  of the Papua Narcotics Agency (BNN Papua), said elementary school students in Jayapura were being targeted for marijuana distribution, with the drug being sold in small packages of one ounce priced at Rp 50,000 (US$3.75) each. He said the price is affordable for the school children. By saving their pocket money, they would be able to buy a package of marijuana.

In one case, he said, the agency had conducted a counseling session on drugs at an elementary school, during which students also underwent a urine test. The agency found an eight year-old fourth grader testing for drugs. They summoned the student’s parents but did not detain the student.

The narcotics division head at the Papua Police, Sr. Comr. IGK Komang, said a total of 32 elementary and junior high school students in the Nimbokrang district of Jayapura regency had recently been caught at a “marijuana party”.

Komang said the marijuana distributed in Jayapura and the entire province of Papua was brought into the country from neighboring Papua New Guinea, entering Indonesian territory through several points: Skow in Jayapura city, Waris in Jayapura regency and Oksibil in the Bintang Mountains. Authorities have also found many locals in the border area planting marijuana.

Mother in Jayapura expressed their concern about the many students consuming marijuana. Hermina, a resident of Abepura said she always supervise her child, finding out who the friends are in school and at home. This problem is very alarming and has been a topic among mothers picking up their children from school. We are very worried that our children could be targeted by drug dealers.

The BNN Papua said it was carrying out an information campaign and counseling students on drugs at schools and at popular hangout places, aside from conducting raids in places suspected to be targeted by dealers.

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