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Akrasi Sarpong calls for review of national drug policy

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Mr. Yaw Akrasi-Sarpong, a former Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, has called for a review of the national policy on drugs and narcotics.
 
He said there must be a drug policy reform to ensure that those addicted were seen and treated as sick, and not criminals.

Mr. Sarpong made this submission at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) – Ghana, national open forum on drugs, in Accra.
 
The event was on the theme “Drug policy reforms in Ghana, the need for health and human right approach”.
 
Mr. Sarpong said experimentation and innovation were part of governance, and so there should be a review of Ghana’s drug policy, as it affected the lives of young people, who were most prone to drug addiction at a young age.
 
He said in the review bill, substance use disorder could no more be seen as a crime, but a disease; which he said was the beginning of a new era, since its inception in 1990.
 
“Smart law enforcement that targets large scale drug dealers, who bring hard drugs into the country, and control the illicit market, instead of petty peddlers and users,” he said.
 
“If the policies and laws on drugs are not for the welfare and wellbeing of Ghanaians, there is a need for review,” he said.
 
“The law on narcotics should be revisited, such that it allows for research into certain narcotics such as cannabis, for economic gains.
 
“Ghana can generate a lot of income from cannabis, such as its use for hair products, bio fuel, toothpaste and a host of others,” he added.
 
Mr. Daniel Ansah, Country Leader, SSDP, said that the organisation was a grass-root of students, who were concerned about the impact of drug abuse on society.
 
“To help achieve a safer and a more just future for the youth especially, we mobilise and empower young people in the process of pushing for appropriate policies on drugs that would yield the needed impact,” he said.
 
He said SSDP Ghana’s advocacy work on drugs focuses on stakeholder engagement to push for sensible drug policies that seek to decriminalise drug usage, projecting rights of drug users and provide adequate rehabilitation facilities through open fora and media engagements.
 
Mr Ansah said their sensitisation on drug abuse, targets students in Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions.
 
Professor Abedenego Amartey, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), encouraged SSDP members to be bold to influence and educate their peers about the dangers of drug abuse.
 
The SSDP has its Headquarters in Washington, and is currently present in over 200 countries across the globe.

SourceGNA

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