Cannabis advocate, Nana Kwaku Agyemang, has refuted the widely held stereotype that all rastafarians smoke marijuana, claiming majority of people who smoke the ganja are typically ordinary people.
A cannabis advocate, Nana Kwaku Agyemang, has rejected the widely held perception that all rastafarians or persons with dreadlocks smoke marijuana, claiming majority of those who smoke the substance are ordinary people.
He disclosed in an interview that rastafarians who smoke marijuana fall in the minority Ghana.
“Majority of those who smoked marijuana a non-rastafarians; they are public servants, they are big businessmen, they are policymakers, they are lawmakers, they are doctors, teachers and nurses. They are the majority that smoke marijuana. And then you all turn around and point the fingers at Rastafarians,” he said.
The Narcotics Control Board has presented to parliament a bill which among other things, is seeking to decriminalize the substance.
On the back of that, the Rastafari Council of Ghana has been pushing to get parliament to pass the bill and also for the legislators to consider the viability of legalizing marijuana in the country.
Nana Agyemang argued that “we are actually supposed to have an intake of weed every day, because we have cannabinoid receptors within our body that are there to receive this intake and distribute the cannabis throughout our body.
“In fact, it is a shame that we have a medical association that is not conducting any research and development into this,” he added.
He noted that there were several uses of cannabis in health, fiber, green architecture and could be used to produce textile, paper, and fuel in the form of hemp oil.
Experts, including the former head of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Akoto Osei, has strongly disapproved of the use of cannabis.
He said the Hospital found a correlation between cannabis consumption and increase mental health problems.
Cannabis has been identified as containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis that is smoked.
However, Nana Agyemang rubbished these concerns warning that the media should not be responsible for promoting those concerns.
“The media shouldn’t fuel these concerns because they have no bases. I am not here to talk about smoking I want people to think outside the box.”
Nana Agymang said there are two types of Indian hemp; cannabis sativa and the cannabis indica.
He explained that the cannabis indica contained the psychotic active agent THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) responsible for madness while the cannabis sativa contained no such agent.
Communications and media relations officer of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Nana Osei Nkwantabisa, who joined the conversation stated that it is still opposed to the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis per the Legislative Instrument that sets the NACOB up until ‘parliament says otherwise.’
However, it said per its proposed bill to parliament, a section of the bill is dedicated to decriminalizing recreational user who have been caught up by the law and considering those individuals as diseased individuals (persons with substance disorder) instead of addicts.
According to him, research conducted by the Board revealed that armed robbers and prostitutes were engaged in their crimes because of the drugs they consume, and majority of the drugs were cannabis (marijuana).
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