The Afram Plains North District office of the Forestry Commission of Ghana has arrested five suspects including a Senior High School teacher for farming cannabis in a forest reserve.
Michael Anakpo, a teacher at Donkorkrom Agric Senior High School said to be the gang leader and his accomplices were arrested whilst in the about 80 hectares cannabis farm inside the forest.
The other suspects are Blewu Nomenyo, Korsi Mawuena, Charles Kale, and Emmanuel Kojo.
More than ten other suspects met on the cannabis farm, however, managed to escape after an attempted attack on the forestry officials.
The Forestry operation team led by the District Forestry Manager Richard Amoateng retrieved 3 big sacks, and 6 mini sacks of the harvested Cannabis, 5 Plastic water containers filled with harvested cannabis, cutlasses, alcohol laced with cannabis, and many others.
The suspects had also nursed many seedlings of cannabis to plant. The team also counted about 13 tents on the farm that accommodated them.
They had also erected a warning sign “Don’t attempt”
The Forestry Commission is preparing to return to the cannabis farm for destruction.
Ghana’s new Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019), passed by Parliament on March 20, 2020, and assented to by the President on May 11, 2020, seeks to treat drug use and dependency as a public health issue rather than focusing on law enforcement, incarceration, punishment, and repression. The new law has converted prison term for drug possession for personal use into a fine of between 200 to 500 penalty units equivalent to Ghc2,400 to Ghc 6000 respectively.
Section 43 of Act 1019 of the Narcotic Control Commission Act,2022 (Act 1019) stipulates that “the Minister on the recommendation of the Commission, may grant a license for the cultivation of cannabis popularly referred to as “wee” in Ghana, which is not more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis for industrial purposes for obtaining fibre or seed for medicinal purposes.”
However,in a 4-3 majority decision Wednesday (July 28, 2022), a seven-member panel of the apex court held this section violates Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution, which details the processes a bill must go through before it is passed into law by Parliament, and was therefore null and void.
The Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong who is Ghana’s representative on UN Commission on Narcotics Drug (UNODC), and the Former Executive Secretary of now Narcotics Control Commission (NCC) Yaw Akrasi Sarpong.