Parliament will not legalise wee smoking – MP

Ernest Yakah - MP
Ernest Yakah – MP

The Vice Chairman of  the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior, Mr Ernest Yakah says Parliament would never legalise the smoking of wee.

“I believe that Parliament or the members of the Select Committee of Defence and Interior will never give our backing to wee legalisation in Ghana. Everybody knows the danger wee smoking could cause to society so we will not legalise wee”, Mr Ernest Yakah, MP for New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region said on Friday.

Speaking at the celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Accra, Mr Yakah called on Ghanaians to support Parliament to kick against the legalisation of wee smoking.

He said if Parliament supports the campaign by section of civil society on “No Punishment for Drug use” it will imply that “we are promoting or legalising drug use in Ghana. I in person, I am strongly against it”.

Mr Yakah also used the occasion to advise Ghanaians to give respect to Parliament as a national assembly and avoid denigrating it.

The Day also known as World Drug Day was marked on the theme: “Let’s Develop our Lives, our Communities, our Identities without Drugs”, to sensitise the public on the harmful effects of drugs and trafficking in the society.

It is also a day marked by all Member-States worldwide, in partnership with the United Nations on Drugs and Crime and other related agencies, as well as diplomatic offices.

The celebration was first launched in 1987 by the United Nations General Assembly, and serves as a reminder of the goals that Member-States have agreed to uphold for creating an international society free of drug abuse.

Mr Mark Woyongo, Minister of the Interior, said there is ever-present need to highlight and create awareness on the dangers and consequences of illegal manufacture of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances.

He said the focus must also be on drug abuse and trafficking in illicit and other psychotropic substances.

He said there should also be deliberation on appropriate measures to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

He said Ghana would therefore continue to partner international and bilateral partners to place health at the centre of drug control so as to put addicts in the hands of doctors rather than policemen.

He explained that in line with the National Integrated Programme, a new Commission Bill would soon be put before Parliament, which proposes that drug addiction would be regarded as a public health issue and not only a criminal justice issue.

Mr Woyongo urged indigenous farmers to desist from cultivating marijuana but rather grow cash crops that would help improve their lots.

Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, Executive Secretary of Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) supported the need to change the drug offense laws by involving stakeholders to ensure that the laws are acceptable by all.

He said all people must join in fighting the drug menace in the society.

He said currently NACOB is training officials including prisons and police personnel on how to effectively handle or deal with drug users or offenders.

Source: GNA

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