A former Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, NACOB, Akrasi Sarpong has expressed has support for the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill before Parliament and called for specific definition for drugs such as cannabis.
This is because the cannabis plant has different species that can be used for the manufacturing of jute bags locally, thereby saving the country the millions of dollars it spends on importing them.
Speaking at a panel discussion on drug policy reform in Accra, Mr. Sarpong said the Narcotics Drugs Law, PNDC Law 236, criminalises everything that has to do with cannabis and does not give room for the industrial exploitation of some of the species, hence the need for the amendment to incorporate the use of some of the species for purely economic purposes.
On decriminalization, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong said it is the first step to take to be followed by effective legal regulations on drug use and addiction.
He therefore, called on drug policy reform advocates to be putting their heads together to come out with suggestions and policy alternatives to make the legal regulation of drug use and addiction effective.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior and Member of Parliament (MP) for Mpraeso, Seth Acheampong, said the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill is not just seeking to amend the Narcotics Drugs Law, PNDC Law 236, but also seeking to transform NACOB into an authority with enhanced powers.
He assured Ghanaians that Parliament will come out with an Act that enhances the existing drug use and addiction in the country to reflect best practices in the 21st centuries.
He therefore, commended the civil society groups on drug policy reform for their tremendous, insightful and far-reaching contributions to the Bill.