The Advocacy Commission of the Rastafari Council of Ghana, RCG, calls on law enforcement agencies especially the Police to heed the advice of the ex-Narcotics Control Commission Executive Secretary, Dr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, on the implementation of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020, Act 1019.
We wish to iterate that the Act, passed in March 2020 and assented by President Nana Akufo-Addo in May of the same year treats drug use as a public health and not a criminal issue; and thus the implementation of it must be directed at guarding the spirit and intent of the new law and at meeting international best practices on handling substance use disorder.
Although we disagree with the current classification of cannabis as a drug and call for its declassification, we fully agree with Dr. Sarpong on separating public safety from private life when he says, “I am not encouraging people to use drugs/weed, it can be addictive, but let us differentiate between private life and public safety”.
We also agree fully with Dr. Sarpong when he says, “the Police are usually the first point of contact, their role in safety and security of citizens is very important hence the need to ensure proper implementation of the new law within the spirit that it intended”.
The Rastafari Council, Ghana therefore calls on the Police to respect the dictates of the new law and desist from arresting and harassing innocent users of cannabis in keeping with the human rights and democratic principles of Ghana.
Finally the Council would like to remind policy makers that it is not too late to be a part of the countries earning foreign exchange from cannabis exports.
We could do same and realize the “Ghana Beyond Aid” vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by participating in the global green gold economy.
Chairman, Advocacy Commission