Teacher, 4 others arrested over marijuana farming in forest reserve

Source The Ghana Report

The Forestry Commission of Ghana in the Afram Plains North District has arrested a Senior High School(SHS) teacher and four other suspects for cultivating marijuana in a forest reserve.

They were arrested while on the 80-hectare farm in the Eastern Region.

Michael Anakpo, a teacher at Donkorkrom Agric Senior High School, is said to be the group’s leader.

The other suspects are Blewu Nomenyo, Korsi Mawuena, Charles Kale, and Emmanuel Kojo.

The District Forestry Manager Richard Amoateng led the team that facilitated the arrest of the suspects after 10 others bolted from the farm after an attempted attack on the forestry officials.

Narrating the incident, a journalist in the Afram Plains area, Osofoba Enock, told Agoo FM on Saturday, 13 August 2022, that the Forestry Commission office of the district acted upon a tip-off from a concerned citizen.

“The Forestry Commission had information that some suspects had a farm of about 80 hectares of cannabis in Obour Nkrumah Forest Reserve. So the Forestry Commission mobilized men to conduct the operation, but when they went there, the suspects attempted to attack the forestry officials, forcing Mr. Amoateng, who was the leader of the operation, to fire warning shots with his sidearm.

“But the suspects resisted and tried to butcher the forestry officials with machetes. Some of the forest guards who had laid an ambush in parts of the forest emerged and pursued the suspects, of which five were arrested,” he said.

The team retrieved three big sacks and six mini sacks of the harvested marijuana, five Plastic water containers filled with harvested marijuana, cutlasses, alcohol laced with cannabis and many others.

Parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill in March 2020.

Ghana has decriminalized the use of marijuana, also known as cannabis, for health and industrial purposes.

The new law also empowers the Minister for the Interior to grant a licence for the cultivation of cannabis of not more than 0.3 per cent THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives the users a high sensation, for industrial and medicinal purposes.

Before this law was passed, Ghana’s Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanction) Act, 1990, PNDC Law 236, criminalized narcotic drugs such as cannabis and states that anyone found in possession or importing a narcotic substance “shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.”

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