Popular Ghanaian lawyer, Maurice Kwabena Ampaw, has said some Pastors and Judges in the country are in the habit of smoking marijuana, although smoking or possessing the substance is a criminal and non-bailable offence under Ghana’s laws.
Mr Ampaw did not mention the names of specific Pastors or Judges but said he has information that they hide to smoke the illegal substance, also known as ‘ganja’ or ‘weed’, behind closed doors.
“When a pastor smokes weed before preaching to his congregation, that is between the pastor and God, if the weed is his source of inspiration. Some do it in secret. There are some pastors who smoke before preaching. They go into their bedrooms to hide and inhale one or two puffs of weed. So when he (the pastor) stands before his congregation to preach, he does not get tired. Some of them do it but they do not do it openly,” Lawyer Ampaw told Okay FM Tuesday morning.
He continued: “Lawyers are not God. If even pastors are smoking weed, how much more lawyers and judges. Some smoke in secrete. What I am saying is a secret thing and not done publicly.They hide to smoke it and then put on lavender or put something in their mouth to hide the scent. When you meet them, they look very gentle but you never know they have smoked weed.”
Mr Ampaw was expressing his legal opinion on the arrest and prosecution of hiplife artiste Kwaw Kesse for possessing and smoking a substance suspected to be marijuana.
“I feel a lot of pity over the Kwaw Kesse case because his offense is a non-bailable one. The two weeks remand in police custody the judge gave him was just to allow for investigations…And if he is found guilty, the least he can get is ten years, unless he really begs and he gets people saying it was not intentional and that he did not know or they really say something,” Mr Ampaw added.
When asked his opinion on the school of thought that marijuana should be decriminalised in Ghana, Lawyer Ampaw said though smoking marijuana has its benefits, decriminalising its usage would lead to an avoidable abuse.
“Weed has its benefits. Smoking it has its own benefits but the abuse of it is the problem, not the smoking of the weed per se… If it is legalised, it would be abused and you would have pastors smoking openly in church, or students smoking openly in the examination hall. But the debate must go on though if it is legalised, the effect on the nation would be too much,” Mr Ampaw noted.