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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ghana to decriminalize narcotics use for better medical treatment  

ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- The government of Ghana is in the process of de-criminalizing narcotic drug use to help manage addiction, Deputy Minister of the Interior James Agalga said Tuesday.

According to him, a new bill before parliament seeks to make narcotics use and addiction cases deserve clinical care and rehabilitation rather than prosecution and incarceration.

The deputy minister explained that it was not about legalization but to decriminalize drug use and addiction with the idea of making them public health issues.

“Those who are addicted and under normal circumstances ought to be treated as patients who need care in the hospital,” he responded to a question posed by Xinhua on calls to legalize marijuana use in Ghana.

Agalga said the bill would also enable the government to open rehabilitation homes and help those engaged in marijuana cultivation find alternative livelihoods.

The deputy minister however cautioned it would not be a free day for drug dealers since the screws would rather be tightened against narcotics trade.

“The bill will empower the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), which will become a Commission following the passage of the bill, to continue to deal with drug barons,” he said.

The NACOB has been in the forefront of combating the drug trade in Ghana, which is troubled by widespread marijuana cultivation.

             

 

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