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    Narcotics bill does not mean go and smoke wee or unlawfully trade it – Speaker

    The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has clarified that the passage of the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023 which grants the Minister for the Interior the authority to issue licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for industrial purposes, does not mean individuals can smoke wee or unlawfully trade them.

    The Speaker observed that there has been a misinterpretation of the bill following the passage of the bill.

    Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, July 27, he said “I want to implore all Members of Parliament and indeed, all Ghanains to share and communicate this understanding as to dispel misinterpretation and misinformation and foster a more informed dialogue on the matter.

    “I reiterate that the cultivation, manufacture, processing, production, sale, distribution, or use of narcotic plants including wee, marijuana, synthetic or semisynthetic drug without lawful authority remain an offense and is punishable by our laws.”

    The bill was passed on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

    The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin earlier said that Ghana was losing millions of dollars without the license to cultivate cannabis.

    Speaker Bagbin said these after the presentation and the first reading of the Narcotics Regulation Commission Amendment Bill, 2023, by the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, July 6.

    The Supreme Court had struck out the law on granting license to grow cannabis, popularly known as ‘wee’, because there was no debate in Parliament on it before its passage into law, as stipulated by Article 106 (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution.

    But the Speaker who indicated that the country was losing out because of this decision, said he made his displeasure over the ruling known to the justices of the apex court in a meeting and urged them to consult Parliament for proper briefings whenever they are making such decisions.

    “We are not reviewing the decision of the Supreme Court, what we are seeking to do is to correct an error and reinstate the right provision. So I am going to refer the bill to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report to the House.

    “The Committee could present the report within one week. It is a matter that is dear to my heart personally, and I think the country is losing a lot as a result of this [Supreme Court] decision. We need to work expeditiously to rectify the wrong.”

    He added “I hope that the three arms of government will work together and respect each other. In cases of doubt, it is important to consult the other arm before giving finality to whatever decision the other arm wants to take.

    “I don’t think that it is proper for the judiciary to, without knowing how we conduct our business here, really go into how we conduct the business and make such an important decision without consulting the house, that is improper.

    “I have made this known to them and I want this to be known publicly, this is for the benefit of the country. So please, committee, you are given one week to submit your report.”

    3 news.com

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