The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin, has stated that parliament only legalised the growing of marijuana for industrial and therapeutic uses, not for smoking.
According to the Speaker, once the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023 was enacted in Parliament, public debate implied that Parliament had granted individuals the right to smoke marijuana, which was not the case.
He explained that the Minister of Interior will issue a permit for the cultivation of cannabis with a THC level of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis for industrial reasons such as obtaining fibre or seed or for medical purposes.
The Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023 was recently passed by Parliament.
The Amendment Bill intends to make significant changes to cannabis cultivation for industrial and medicinal uses.
The modified bill gives the Ministry of Interior the right to issue licences for cannabis growing, allowing this plant to be used for a variety of beneficial purposes.
The Ministry of Interior will also be in charge of promoting the expansion of this industry and opening up new options for further investigation of its potential.
The Speaker asked MPs to share this understanding with their people to help dispel the misinformation throughout the country.
He said some people were going around informing people that Parliament had enacted legislation allowing people to consume marijuana for recreational purposes.
The Speaker clarified the issue on Thursday, July 27, 2023, saying, “I reiterate that the cultivation, manufacture, processing, production, sale, distribution, or use of narcotic plants, including wee, marijuana, or semi-synthetic drugs, without lawful authority remains an offence and is punishable by our laws.
I, therefore, call on the law enforcement authorities to continue to investigate, prosecute, and commit offenders to the sanctions of the law.”