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The Member of Parliament for the Tolon constituency in the Northern Region, Alhaji Wahab Wumbei Suhuyini, has called for the decriminalization of a narcotic herb known as marijuana which is also referred locally in Ghana as ‘weed’. The move according to the MP will make Ghana join many other countries that are making economic gains from the herb.
The MP’s call was based on the fact that the herb has many other economic potentials that could be exploited if the country can strategically position itself to reap from the benefits by lifting the legal barriers that prevent people from legitimately engaging in the cultivation, harvesting and the eventual exploitation of its economic properties.
“Mr. Speaker, there has been suggestions from some quarters, that perhaps considering the economic advantage of growing marijuana and exporting it as a country, we should begin to look at how to regularize the use of marijuana and decriminalize it if possible. Mr. Speaker, I am yet to have a position on this, but considering how prevalent it is I think it is a debate worth having. Especially because other countries in the world have started regularizing and decriminalizing the use of marijuana and are making profits from the exportation of this drug,” the MP stated on the Floor of Parliament on Thursday while contributing to a statement made by the MP for Asane Akroso Manso, George Kwame Aboagye on drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
While he was persuaded by the economic interest of the drug on the financial standing of the country, he was also concerned about the rampant use of marijuana among the youth in the country.
“Mr. Speaker, statistics available at the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) reveals that the cheapest and the most abused drugs in the country is marijuana. Mr. Speaker, according to the world drug report by the United Nation’s Office in 2007, on drugs and crime, it was also revealed that 21.5% of Ghanaians age from 15 to 64, smoke marijuana or use another cannabis product.
According to him, the report indicates that Ghana ranked third in the world in the use of marijuana behind Papua New Guinea and Macronasia with 29%. He retorted that “Even Jamaica, am sure, will be enviable of our status.”
“The report continues to say that Ghanaians use marijuana 5 times more than the world average and thereby making Ghana the leader in African countries and the third in the world in the use of cannabis or marijuana.
“Mr. Speaker, again at NACOB, statistics show that 70% of JHS and SHS students face the risk of abusing drugs. Mr. Speaker, what this means is that your child is not safe. 70% of school going age face the risk of abusing drugs at least once in their life time. We are even told that 70% of patients and inmates at the psychiatric hospital are the youth between the ages of 18 and 35. So Mr. Speaker, the statement on drug abuse is one that we must all take seriously.”
Source: Clement Akoloh || ghananewsonline.com.gh