Former Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Akrasi Sarpong, has argued that law enforcement with regards to marijuana must needs to be reviewed so that users of the drug are sent to hospital instead of prosecuting them and throwing them into prison.
“If it is about harm, alcohol is more harmful than marijuana. Tobacco is more harmful than marijuana. It’s is about harm, let’s schedule the harm…and tackle the harm. If you’re going to deal with the harm related to the substance, then you shouldn’t be taking them (marijuana users) to prison. You should be sending them to the hospital,” he told Frema Adunyame in a documentary titled, “Cannabis: a goldmine or a nation wrecker.”
Ghana’s laws (PNDC Law 236) criminalizes marijuana use, import, export and its possession.
But many individuals and groups, notably the Rastafari Council has called for its legalization for both medical and recreational use. This call has been ignored by successive governments.
In the opinion of Mr Sarpong, our laws must stress the welfare and health of citizens as espoused by various UN Conventions, noting that the laws on Marijuana punishes insignificant end users while the kingpins of the trade who benefit the most are let off the hook.
To better fight the marijuana canker in the country, he suggested that the drug lords be arrested and put away from society: “Our challenge in this country is that in the continuum of law enforcement, we touch the small fries and leave the big guys. Our strategy need to be non-violent small fries. We need to be sending them to the public health. Education. Prevention. The big guys! We need to arrest them. And put them away for twenty years. So they can’t control anything. That for me is what is called ‘smart Law enforcement delivery.”‘
Several countries have legalized marijuana for various uses such as export or medical purposes with reported returns of huge revenues.