There have been calls on
government to legalize cannabis (marijuana), popularly known as ‘wee’, in the country by some advocates who believe legalizing the hard drug would help improve the current economic situation in Ghana .
Despite this subtle but unrelenting campaign by these interest groups and civil society organizations for marijuana to be legalized in Ghana, the mental health authority says the banned substance poses health hazard on people who use it.
Nonetheless, this article addresses the issue of whether it is a case of legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana to enhance
First of all, it should be acknowledged that illegality and criminality are not the same, i.e. what is illegal is not criminal unless it is stated as an
The legal history of cannabis pertains to the regulation for medical, recreational, and industrial purposes.
Throughout the 18
With these came
The present worldwide narcotic control is based upon three international conventions: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substance, and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Trafficking of Narcotics Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances.
These treaties required participating nations to limit and even criminalize the possession, use, trade
Criminality of marijuana
According to the Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement
(1) Any person who imports or exports any narcotic drug without a license issued by the Secretary for Health (Minister of Health) for that purpose commits an
(2) The Secretary for Health may grant a license for the importation of narcotic drugs if on an application made to him by such persons as may be prescribed he is satisfied that the license can be properly granted.
Per the provisions above, marijuana has both been legalized and criminalized in the country, leaving a small window for a person to get the prior approval from the Minister of Health in order to cultivate, import and export the substance.
This implies that marijuana is not illegal. If not, there would not be a legislation provided for the possession, importation
However, what appears to be
Therefore, the issue of legalizing marijuana to all persons is rather the decriminalization: the removal of the punishment provided in the PNDCL 236 and the regulation of the substance.
The decriminalization of marijuana would automatically legalize its use and possession throughout.
In a 2015 United Nations Report, Ghana was number three in the global ranking of consumers of marijuana, remaining number one in Africa. The current state of the legality of marijuana in Ghana is strictly its application: the
Countries like Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Netherland and the United States of America have legalized marijuana to be put into good use.
Thus, it has been decriminalized and regulated. In these countries, the planting and usage of marijuana are not in excess – they are firmly monitored by
Obviously, Ghanaians are planting and using marijuana without