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Press zooms in on Commission’s warning that use of cannabis is illegal in Ghana, others

The warning by Narcotics Control Commission that the use of cannabis is illegal and a criminal offence in Ghana in…

The warning by Narcotics Control Commission that the use of cannabis is illegal and a criminal offence in Ghana in spite of having joined a few other countries to allow for the cultivation of the substance is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that the Narcotics Control Commission has reminded all that the use of cannabis is illegal and a criminal offence in the country in spite of Ghana having joined a few other countries to allow for the cultivation of the substance, also known as weed, for medicinal purposes.

The commission has, however, received applications from many groups, companies and individuals for licences to cultivate cannabis for industrial or medicinal purposes.

It explained that although Ghana signed on to the pact on May 11, last year to allow for the cultivation of cannabis with 0.3 percent content of the principal psychoactive ingredient, Tetrahydrocannabis (THC), it was yet to operationalise the licence regime because a legislative instrument had not been passed.

Thus, the provision relating to cannabis in section 43 of Act 1019 did not in any way constitute the legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis cultivation and/or use.

“As such, the cultivation, production, distribution, sale and consumption of cannabis remain prohibited by law,” it said in a statement signed by the Head, Communications and Media Relations, Mr Francis Opoku Amoah.

In 2020, some countries in Africa, through their national legislation, decided to allow the cultivation and export of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes, with some other countries authorising the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

According to the 2020 International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Report, in August 2020, Ghana, having passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) joined these African countries, mainly Southern and East African countries, in exploring the purported prospects in cannabis.

The newspaper says that fire on Monday morning razed parts of the Elmina Fishing Harbour, destroying items running into thousands of Ghana Cedis.

It is suspected that premix fuel being stored at a part of the harbour caught fire. Items that were destroyed included cash, fish and fishing gear.

One person sustained injuries and was taken to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital for treatment.

According to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), it took about an hour for fire personnel from Elmina, Pedu and the University of Cape Coast to put out the fire.

Divisional Officer II Samuel Sagoe of the Pedu Divisional Command of the GNFS said preliminary investigations indicated that a mobile phone might have sparked the fire that resulted in the inferno.

He asked the harbour community to be extremely careful in dispensing premix fuel and always ensure that there was no naked fire around.

A fisherman and eyewitness, Mr Kofi Gyani, said they were unpacking their catch when they heard an explosion and then the fire followed, adding that a lot of personal belongings had been lost to the fire.

He said they as fishermen must all be vigilant to keep the area safe.

The Graphic also reports that a Deputy Trade and Industry Minister designate, Nana Ama Dokua, has said the decision of China to grow cocoa beans presented Ghana with huge opportunities.

She said China producing cocoa would mean that the citizens would develop a taste for cocoa products which would present Ghana with another market where it could start exporting cocoa beans and cocoa products.

“It is even better for China to be growing cocoa. For a population of over one billion to develop the taste for cocoa is good. If they develop the taste, then eventually, when they try the better cocoa beans from Ghana, I am sure they will start buying from us as well,” she said when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last Friday.

“We all know the history of how cocoa got to Ghana, so if Fernando Po could not stop Ghana from growing cocoa, then we cannot stop any other country from growing it as well.

“What matters is how we are able to make ours better and, fortunately, we have a comparative advantage due to where we are geographically located, right around the meridian and also fall around the equator.

“This gives us the fine aggregate of cocoa that we have here in Ghana which is demanded the most on the world market,” she stated.

The Times says that a Deputy Minister of Education-designate, John Ntim Fordjour, has refuted claims that quality education has been compromised for quantity in the implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS).

According to him, West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results and high teacher-students engagement time have showed that the programme was focused on ensuring quality education and impact positively on beneficiaries.

Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, in Accra, yesterday for vetting, Mr Fordjour said, despite concerns about the double track system, it has effectively ensured that more than 400,000 students, who would have been forced to stay at home due to lack of infrastructure, gained admission into SHSs across the country.

Considering the huge number of beneficiaries under the programme, Mr Fordjour said, government was proactive in rolling it out and addressing the infrastructural challenges simultaneously.

He noted that the ministry was in the process of initiating a programme to promote and encourage students in other disciplines to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Mr Fordjour debunked speculations that the government and the ministry were pursuing intent to introduce comprehensive sex education in the basic education curriculum.

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