'Wee' cannabis

I told by ‘boss’ the other day, that there’s something about the whiff of marijuana I don’t know whether he’s noticed. In fact I find the whiff of ‘weed’ very pleasant; but indifferent in using or smoking the leaf. I would be Ok with tobacco as a stimulant than use cannabis or better still ‘brown gold’ cocoa drink.

This may be due to my upbringing and the environment I grew up, were smoking ‘weed’ meant getting into trouble. I was smart and hope I still am. I read so much about lifestyle problems during the days of ‘Ebony’ newspaper. Still wonder if that Tema based tabloid is still published. I also enjoyed the ‘Ghanaian Voice’, ‘Heritage’ and ‘Free Press’; all Ghanaian publications. Daddy hardly buys the ‘Daily Graphic’ or ‘Ghanaian Times’ then. There were other publications too; I bought the tabloids from my savings. I will have to check if ‘P&P’ is also in business. ‘Weed’ is trouble in Ghana. Why?…

The more notorious publications became subject of concern in shaping the moral ideals of the country. As to what I learnt from these publications may be for another blog. But there’s this belief that restrictions on certain lifestyle enhancers drive people to want to use it more. How far is it true?

There’s a global campaign to legalize marijuana and looking at the argument, it is a trade that needs to be legalized to achieve some level of sanity and generate the needed revenue for social infrastructural projects.

There US argument, at least according to The Drug Policy Alliance is very convincing. It says one solution to reducing the number of people swept into the criminal justice system for drug law violations is to enact various forms of decriminalization of drug use and possession.

Decriminalization is the removal of criminal penalties for drug law violations (usually possession for personal use). Roughly two dozen countries, and dozens of U.S. cities and states, have taken steps toward decriminalization.

They believe decriminalizing possession and investing in treatment and harm reduction services, can reduce the harms of drug misuse while improving public safety and health. Well read and heard, now the ‘lay journalist’ will relay it to Ghanaians who perhaps have not chanced on it; what is our position?

A lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has blamed the ban on the cultivation and usage of cannabis popularly known as ‘wee’ in the country for hampering research on the efficacy of the drug for human usage. The ban means one cannot possess the substance for any research purposes, so where do we begin.

Dr Edmond Akwaagyie, of the Pharmacy Department of KNUST says other countries have realized the volume of trade generated by the drug and thus have lifted restrictions on its usage. I read a certain article actually informed by belief that the forces against tobacco use and its economy is the same against cannabis. But is my homeland Ghana in tune with the global debate on cannabis?

According to figures cannabis alone generates over 3 billion US dollars that goes to drug lords. I believe it’s time the country’s regulatory bodies come up with data on the fraction of trade generated from the quoted 3 billion dollars globally.

Dr Akwaagyie as I listened to him in an interview with Paragon FM said the ban on the drug makes it impossible for use in any research in Ghana. To him, legalizing ‘wee’ could drive research and allow government to take control of funds generated in illegal trade of the substance. Am I the only one who thinks he is making sense? We will all die any. The tension that takes us to our grave is too much. I hear about 37 people have died on the first day of ‘Green Wednesday’ from over dose. Is the substance meant for people like them.

I am glad I appreciate the drug war on cannabis, heroin and cocaine better than that which killed the tobacco industry and closed down a production facility in Takoradi. Where is the British American Tobacco, formerly Pioneer Tobacco Company, and you talk of cancer.

English: The main entrance of the Kwame Nkruma...

By: Joe Bright Nyarko







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