The Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Police is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis as a way of winning the fight against peddling and abuse of the drug in Ghana.
The unit has between January and May this year recorded 32 cases with Ashanti region leading the chart.
In the regional drug auditing table available at the Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the Ghana police service, cannabis has been leading the chart for the past three years.
The head of the Drug Law Enforcement Unit, David Selom Hukportie in an interview with TV3 said “we also need to look at decriminalization and here I want to reiterate what Mr. Akrasi Sarpong said.
“Many people misunderstood him but when you look at the situation and you want law enforcement to tackle it without the criminal justice coming in to help it, it will be a problem.”
In 2014, 188 cannabis cases were recorded across the country. The figure increased to 298 in 2015 with Ashanti region leading with 143 cases.
Between January and may this year, the unit has recorded 32 cases with Ashanti region leading with 28 cases between January and February alone.
Most of the discussions in the public have all been based on moral justification and exaggeration of the effects of the marijuana plant with scientific evidence thrown out of the window.
According to a security expert Emmanuel Kotin the debate should be looked at beyond morals and effects.
He indicated that “the drug issue has moved away from being a problem to being a real security issue. We seem to neglect the spillover of this drug issues on our human capital, our social infrastructure and our productive national asset.”
In an effort to solve the myriad of challenges confronting the state in battling the fight, a lecturer at the department of Sociology School at the University of Ghana Dr.Samson Obed Appiah, says the issue should be tackled at the community level.
He was of the view that “the locals in these communities should be looked at firstly from the point that they are involved in the production indirectly or encourage the production of the substance.
“This is also because young people get money and support the local economy so whether you like it or not it is a source of income for them so it would be difficult for the other persons in these communities to give out or report those involved in the growing, production or sale of the cannabis.”
He therefore calls on the law enforcement agencies to engage the traditional authorities in the fight to make it successful.