Three Facts You Must Know About Incoming ‘Wee’ Law In Ghana
Barring any unforeseen parliamentary incidents, Ghana’s legislators will pass a legal instrument (LI) that seeks to give a proper basis to cultivate cannabis or marijuana in a country where it has been illegal for decades.
The Head of Communications and Media Relations at the Narcotics Control Commission, Francis Opoku Amoah, recently revealed that the law will provide specifics under which the plant can be farmed and used. The commission is expected to send the LI to parliament soon.
Even before the commission takes the initiative, Amoah confirmed that many Ghanaians have approached his outfit on how one could secure a licence to farm cannabis.
The plant goes by a thousand and one names across the world but it is popularly known as wee in Ghana. It has always been frowned on by polite society ever since it was introduced into pre-independent Ghana by Gold Coast soldiers who fought for Great Britain in Burma.
In spite of the fact that it is illegal and thought to be the preserve of Rastafarian culture and acts of moral waywardness, wee is actually very popularly consumed in Ghana. According to a paper authored by Samuel Adu-Gyamfi and Edward of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana is number in Africa and third in the world with regards to illegal consumption.
The incoming law will change a number of things in Ghana, even if it is not a law that seeks to do much. Here are four facts you should know.
- Manufacturing purposes, not recreational
For what it’s worth, wee will continue to be illegal to consume for fun in Ghana. There is no indication that the LI lawmakers will be approving will ask for Ghanaians to enjoy the drug recreationally.
This clarification is necessary due to the fact that the longest conversation over marijuana has been focused on recreational consumption and not much else. However, what we will see will be a law that will give certification to people to plant marijuana with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level of not more than 0.3%.
A much lower THC level will mean that individuals cannot consume the plant for its hallucinogenic effects (to get high). Rather, the plant will be necessary for manufacturing bags, creams and other items.
2. First step to commercialization
The LI that will be approved by Parliament continues from an earlier law passed in March 2020. The Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) was the law that remade the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and made the agency a Commission.
Turning NACOB into a body with more powers was also meant as a first step to easing restrictions on marijuana with a view to putting Ghana in a place to tap from the commercial potential of marijuana globally. It is the role of the commission to research and recommend progressive ways we can deal with narcotics in Ghana.
For a business that has been ongoing for less than a decade in much of the world, the legal marijuana trade globally stands at an impressive $ 7billion and more.
A good number of eastern and southern African countries including Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa have granted various levels of legal backing to the growth and use of marijuana in their countries.
3. No reprieve for offenders
The commission also announced that its attempts towards the legalization of THC of 0.3% will not mean decriminalization for Ghanaians caught in the possession of marijuana with a higher THC level. This was necessary to state in anticipation that some will seek to flout the law under the guise of misunderstanding what the legal requirements state.