Ghana legalises ‘weed’ for medical use

May 30, 2019 . A man smoking enjoying a joint at work Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

It is now legal for anybody to use cannabis for health and industrial purposes in Ghana after Parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2019 on Friday, 20 March 2020.

Per the new law, the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) also becomes a Commission with additional powers to oversee the industrial use of some narcotic substances.

The new law empowers the Minister for Interior to grant licences for the cultivation of cannabis of not more than 0.3 percent THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives the users a high sensation, for industrial and medicinal purposes.

Furthermore, it tightens punishment for cannabis-related offences.

Already, countries like Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, and South Africa are among African countries that have decriminalised the use of cannabis for health purposes.

In November 2019, Ghanaian rapper Peter Famiyeh Bozah, known by the stage name Fameye, asked the Ghanaian authorities to legalise marijuana so its smokers can freely use it for their benefit.

He noted that prominent Ghanaians including the late former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for its legalisation, therefore, decriminalising cannabis would be a good move.

Speaking on the AyekooAyekoo mid-morning show on Accra100.5FM hosted by Nana Romeo on Friday, 8 November 2019, the ‘Nothing I Get’ hit singer said although he does not smoke marijuana, it should be legalised for those who do.

“I don’t smoke ‘weed’ but if it is legalised, it will benefit those who smoke. Those who smoke it know the benefits they derive from it. Even Kofi Annan was fighting for its legalisation before he died, so, it should be legalised.”

Just recently, multiple award-winning Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson also said she will support the legalisation of marijuana in the country only if its usage will be controlled for health purposes.

The Rastafarian Council of Ghana has been on a relentless campaign for the decriminalisation of the herb just as some prominent advocates.

In his later years in life before his death, former UN Chief Kofi Annan, called for a dispassionate debate about marijuana and urged that it be decriminalised.

Also, the Acting Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo, has ever advocated the cultivation and export of cannabis while a former boss of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Mr Akrasi Sarpong, endorses the legalisation of Indian hemp.

Other notable people like musician Samini and actor/politician John Dumelo have spoken about the possibility of mass-producing marijuana for economic gain.

Speaking on ‘Touch of Class’ on Class 91.3FM on Monday, 4 October 2019, Ms Forson told show host Natalia Andoh that marijuana helps in managing a lot of diseases.

Asked if the herb should be legalised, the movie director and producer said: “I have a glaucoma foundation and while reading and researching, I realised that marijuana actually helps with glaucoma, it’s really a natural remedy that helps bring the pressures down. I believe in other places in the world, they control the dosage and all of that. So, for health reasons, if we can control it, then yeah, they can legalise it, but I think people just abuse it and that’s where I have a problem with it. But it helps with a lot of diseases and illnesses.”   

Ms Nelson is premiering her new movie at the Silverbird Cinema titled: “Fix us” on 6 December 2019. Notable names in the movie include Yvonne Okoro, Tobi from Big Brother Nigeria, Michelle Attoh, Hajia4real, Irene Logan and Prince David Osei.


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