The Member of Parliament for Manhyia North, Hon Collins Owusu Amankwah has rebutted claims that cannabis has been legalised by the Ghanaian Parliament for public consumption.
According to the two-time legislator, Parliament only legalised the use of the weed for medicinal purposes.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Observer newspaper Sunday evening, Hon Amankwah expressed worry about the erroneous claims some members of the public have since the passage of the Narcotics act into law have been making.
He noted that more worrying is the attitude of some members of the NDC whose actions seem to fuel such unfounded claims within the public domain.
“I am totally surprised that people see the action Parliament took last week as legalizing the consumption of weed in public life because that was not so”, the Manhyia North MP posited.
Giving more details, Hon Amankwah said Parliament in legalizing the use of cannabis was clear in its mind and that was for medicinal purposes only.
He noted that the legislative assembly knowing that all usage of cannabis was illegal had to decriminalize some portions of the existing law so that medical facilities could use weed for the production of drugs.
The NPP MP also revealed that the house enhanced the powers of the Narcotics Control Board to a Commission status to reflect its new mandate.
The Commission, the Ecowas Parliament Member noted would now be able to monitor, inspect and deal with all forms of usage of narcotics and also streamline the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
“We did three things in Parliament with regards to the new narcotics law and that was to decriminalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and also enhanced the powers of the board which is now in a Commission status as well as set boundaries for the use all narcotics in the country”.
Stating the facts, Hon Amankwah said nowhere in the discussion of the act in parliament was there allowance given to the smoking of weed or cannabis by members of the public.
He noted strict sanctions and punitive measures still portend in the use of cannabis.
The MP said no one can use cannabis for any purposes in the new law except those who deal in pharmaceutical drugs and medicinal supplements.
Hon Amankwah warned the public to be mindful that anyone caught smoking or using cannabis publicly or growing same would be arrested and prosecuted in the law courts.
“I am hereby cautioning the public not to engage in the use of cannabis or any other illegal drug since the use of same is still punishable by law”, the MP stressed.