Host of Kokrokoo on Peace FM, Kwame Sefa Kayi he stated that he is pained by the destruction of cannabis estimated to be worth GH¢50 million by the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC).
Reacting to the report during a panel discussion on his morning show, the journalist noted that while the conversation around the issue has been limited to mental health and recreation, there are other economic and medicinal bnefits of cannabis.
“I guess people are bringing in the issue of mental health because the conversation has been limited to smoking and recreation. But truth be told, I am pained due because of the weed that has been burnt,” he emphasised.
The production and use of cannabis in Ghana remains illegal despite its decriminalisation for industrial and health use.
Parliament in 2019, passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, with the NACOB becoming a commission with enhanced powers to superintend the industrial use of some narcotic substances.
The Commission on February 9, 2023, announced that it destroyed about 50 tonnes of seized marijuana.
Read NACOC’s full statement below:
NACOC DESTROYS 50 TONNES OF MARIJUANA WORTH GH 50 MILLION
The Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) has destroyed 50,000 Kilogrammes or 50 tonnes of marijuana at the Bundase Military Camp in the Greater Accra Region, worth Fifty Million Ghana Cedis (GH¢50,000,000).
The two-day destruction exercise is in accordance with the Commission’s law, Act 1019, which requires NACOC to seize, investigate, and prosecute perpetrators, as well as destroy seized narcotic drugs after following all legal procedures.
The Commission is mandated to destroy seized narcotic drugs after conducting all necessary investigations.
Act 1019 Section 108 of the Narcotics Control Commission states that: disposal and storage of seized narcotics, controlled equipment, and precursors
(1) Where the Court orders the forfeiture of controlled equipment or the destruction of a narcotic drug or plant or precursor, the narcotic drug or plant or precursor shall be disposed of by a method ordered by the Court and the destruction of the narcotic drug or plant, or precursor shall be carried out in the presence of the representatives specified as follows:
(a) One representative of the Court that issued the Order;
(b) One representative of the Ghana Police Service;
(c) One representative of the Commission;
(d) One representative of the Prosecution;
(e) One representative of the Environmental Protection Agency;
(f) One representative of the Defence Counsel;
(g) One representative of the Analysts; and
(h) One representative of the Media.
(2) The narcotic drug or plant, precursor or controlled equipment may be tested in Court in the course of prosecution and immediately before the destruction or disposal as the case may be.
The seizures mainly were made between the years 2021 and 2023 in the Volta Region and Eastern Region where suspects escaped arrest while their trucks, vans, and cars were impounded at the Commission’s headquarters in Accra.
The Commission under normal circumstances would have used an insinuator to destroy the cannabis, but due to the huge nature of the drugs, the Commission decided to resort to open-air destruction.
The Commission cautions the general public, particularly drivers, who allow themselves to be used as couriers by smugglers, with or without their knowledge, that their vehicles used in the act will be seized. They must always ensure to check the content of consignments they intend to convey from one destination to another.
Vehicle owners should also ensure to conduct background checks on their employees before handing over their vehicles to avoid having their vehicles seized.
The commission is very grateful to the National Security Secretariat, Ghana Armed Forces and our international partners for their support in the destruction exercise.