According to the Narcotics Control Board, United Nations has named Ghana the highest marijuana using African country. Ghana seems to have maintained the position since 2014 according to the UN World Report.
Speaking for the Ghanaian government, Ernestina Adjei who is the Acting Head of Education says the report was worrisome.
From the UN world report on drugs, about 22% of Ghanaians of school going age are engaged in drug abuse.
Cannabis Sativa, popularly known as Marijuana is the most consumed illegal drug. While some countries like North Korea, have no problem with it, some others still consider the use illegal.
Early this year, South Africa Legalized the use of “Dagga” within private premises. Ghana’s top position in Marijuana usage in Africa is still surprising to many. However many have called for the total decriminalization of Marijuana use in the West African country.
As it is, Ghana’s Narcotics Drug Law prohibits the cultivation, use, importing, or exporting of any narcotic drug without a license. For medical reasons, some patients are required to obtain approval from the Ministry of Health to lawfully use, cultivate, import, and export “wee”.
The pro-cannabis movement is being led by the Rastafari Council of Ghana. Last year the group made a strong push for the total decriminalization of Marijuana use in the country.
In their argument they suggested that there are only few users of the hard drug whom are actually violent, thus calls it “a victimless non-violent crime”.
As contained in their statement during the commemoration of the global 4/20 holiday for cannabis users in 2016:
“Decriminalizing will influence the way in which the police treat the young men of this country when confronting them during police operations.”
“Cannabis is illegal and many young men use it. The truth is, that out of the number of young men who use cannabis, only a very small percentage of them are actually involved in violent criminal activity, their only crime being the possession of a controlled substance; a victimless non-violent crime.”
Marijuana has medicinal qualities, the only worry is the addiction that comes with it as users consume more than required. As worrisome as it is, Marijuana is one of the leading profitable crops in Ghana.
As raised during the recent legalization in South Africa, Marijuana is seen as a gateway drug that can lead to the use of higher hard drugs. It is the most commonly abused drug in many countries.
Rising to the Rastafari’s opposition is Dr. Akwasi Osei, the Chief Executive of the country’s Mental Health Authority. He says decriminalizing the use of marijuana will increase mental health cases and violence in the country; given that it alters hormonal, mental and psychological balance.
Popular information revealed that there is a high concentration of youths who use marijuana in Agbogbloshie and Dormaa areas of Ghana.
While some African countries are contemplating either partial or full decriminalization of the use of Maijuana, Ghana has not yet revealed any plans of fully legalizing it. The West African country is not happy with the present rate of Marijuana use and has vowed to curb the growing trend.