The Rastafari Council, Ghana has welcomed the call by Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, the Executive Director of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) for the decriminalization of cannabis. The Council says this debate is long overdue and suggests that after the national debate could lead to a possible referendum on the matter.
The Executive Director of NACOB Yaw Akrasi Sarpong has called for the decriminalization of cannabis to enable the allocation of resources used in the fight against cannabis to be deployed for more productive use.
This call comes in the wake of a wave of pro cannabis legislation worldwide. In the United States of America, states like Washington DC, California and Colorado have decriminalized cannabis use to the extent that the Obama administration is working on banking legislation to enable revenue from the cannabis industry to be handled by the banks.
In Uruguay, the state controls the cannabis trade by growing and distributing it. Under the laws there, persons above eighteen years are entitled to buy cannabis in designated shops.The case of the Netherlands where coffee shops sell cannabis is history.
It is the view of the Rastafari Council Ghana that if government were to decriminalize cannabis use, the savings to be made from the raids on farms and other places could be used for other more pressing activities of the law enforcement agencies.
In addition to this, government stands to gain from the taxes both farmers and sellers would pay. Research into the other uses of the cannabis plant will also lead to other socio economic benefits.
The Council has therefore endorsed the call for the debate and is prepared to participate in any such debate that may be set up for the purposes. It is also prepared to engage the media on the same matter of decriminalization.