A clinical psychologist Dr. Baah Odoom has suggested persons who are arrested for the possession of smoking marijuana should be given psychiatric care instead of being sent to jail.
She was of the view that some smokers and abusers of hard drugs may be suffering from psychological problems, hence the need for them to be assisted instead of being jailed.
She was also not in support for legalisation marijuana as suggested by some individuals.
Several studies have linked marijuana use to increased risk for psychiatric disorders, including psychosis (schizophrenia), depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
The Narcotics Drug Law prohibits any person from cultivating, using, importing or exporting any narcotic drug without a licence from the Health Ministry. Offenders are liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years.
These provisions notwithstanding, weed cultivation in remote parts of the country remain a big business.
In 2015, a report by International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) highlighted cannabis use in Ghana as the highest and Africa as a whole, while heroin comes second, with annual prevalence use remaining as high as 7.5 percent of the population 15-64 years. The figure is particularly high in West and Central Africa, recording 12.4 percent.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal