Some persons and groupings are calling on government to legalize cannabis popularly known in Ghana as ‘wee’ with the excuse that it has the potential of improving the economic fortunes of the country.
The Mental Health Authority has strongly objected to its legalization on many platforms as it says the illicit substance exposes its users to health hazards.
Mr Kweku Brobbey, Head of Communication at the Mental Health Authority, on Tuesday urged organizations especially non-governmental organizations to discuss the issues surrounding the call for the its legalization, bringing to the fore the negative effects if such action should be taken.
Mr Brobbey was speaking at the launch of the second phase of the, “Alcohol and drug abuse prevention project, ”an initiative by the AA Commaid Foundation in collaboration with Queens and Queens mothers.
He reiterated that his outfit is strongly against it noting that “if we legalize it, there will be pull overs, it will harm the economy, ” adding that Ghana was not well structured to handle such pull overs.
Mrs Juliana Amankwah-Marfo, Senior Regulatory Officer, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), on her part said her outfit recorded incidents of drug abuse related accidents as some drivers laced energy drinks with illegal drugs such as high doses of tramadol.
Mrs Amankwah-Marfo advised the youth to desist from the usage of illegal substances and abuse of all forms of drugs saying that substance abuse was becoming alarming as some mixed mint toffees with energy drinks in a bid to ‘get high’.
She added that the public must also desist from engaging in second hand smoking by inhaling smoke from users of tobacco products because they stood a chance of contracting cancers just as the smokers.
She urged operators of public places to strictly adhere to the part six of the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851, which prohibited smoking in public places indicating that designated smoking areas must be created for smokers to prevent exposing non-smokers to secondary tobacco smoke.
Naana Adiki Manyeyo Adi I, Ada Adibiawe Divisional Queen and Executive Director of AA Commaid, said she initiated the project which is on the theme; “It takes a village to raise a champion, ” to curb alcohol and drug abuse among the youth in Ghana.
Mr Albert Boakye Okyere, Ashaiman Municipal Chief Executive, chairing the launching, said the youth must be encouraged not to taste alcohol and illicit drugs because “it takes just a taste to become addicted to such substances”.