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President of Parliament clarifies: “Ghana has not legalized the recreational use of cannabis!”



The President of the Parliament of Ghana, Alban Bagbin, stressed that Ghana has not legalized the recreational use of cannabis in the country. Bagbin addressed the misunderstanding that arose after the approval of the (amendment) of the Law on the Narcotics Control Commission, which allows the cultivation of hemp with a THC content of no more than 0,3%, referring to the psychotropic cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant.

During a formal communication to the Assembly in Accra, capital of Ghana, the President of Parliament clarified that the approval of the bill of amendment, on 12 June 2023, aimed to grant the Minister of the Interior the authority to issue licenses for the cultivation of industrial hemp, better known as “wee” in the country. However, MP Bagbin underlined that this legalization of cultivation should not be misinterpreted as legalizing the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Bagbin said sanctions applicable to recreational cannabis use remain fully applicable. The cultivation, manufacture, processing, production, sale, distribution or use of narcotic plants, including cannabis or “wee”, without legal authorization, remains an offense punishable by law.

He also warned the public not to be misled by misconceptions and clarified that the cultivation license is strictly limited to the industrial application of cannabis, mainly for medicinal purposes. This approach aims to contribute to the advancement of healthcare while maintaining strict control over recreational cannabis use.

The President of Parliament stressed that the provision relating to the licensing of cultivation aims to strike a balance between harnessing the industrial and medicinal potential of cannabis for economic and health benefits and preventing the unregulated recreational use of the substance.

The amendment seeks to refine the legal framework to adapt to changing circumstances, judicial scrutiny and societal needs, with a primary focus on managing risks and potential benefits. Bagbin reaffirmed that the purpose of legislative action was never to support or promote the recreational use of cannabis. “It remains essential to dispel any misconceptions that may arise regarding the new legislation”, he urged MPs to actively engage with their constituents and ensure that they correctly understand the intent of the law change. Members should champion the cause during the parliamentary holiday period, conveying accurate information to the public and addressing any misinterpretations.

In conclusion, Bagbin appealed to the competent authorities to continue to investigate, convict and penalize individuals involved in drug-related crimes. Existing punishments for such crimes remain unchanged and offenders will face all consequences provided by law.


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