It is quite appalling that according to the latest World Drug Report, Ghana has emerged No. 1 in Indian Hemp smoking. The report has it that, 2.8 million Ghanaians out of about the 25,000,000 population smoke “wee” on a daily basis. That’s a prodigious 11.2% of the populace.
Other countries with high percentage of weed smoking include; Jamaica, U.S.A., Nigeria and the Netherlands. Although the use of Indian hemp is legal in the U.S., its intake is still below 10%. No other country of the world was ranked close to Ghana when it comes to weed smoking.
Gone are the days when marijuana addicts hid under the cover of darkness to get high on the weed. In fact, the intake of cannabis is beginning to earn a wider range of public acceptance. Nowadays, they have no need to hide their odious habit from the public.It is no longer strange to find Indian hemp users smoking in the open.
Even though that weed smoking is illegal in Ghana, people who are involved in it are beginning to earn some level of respect and esteem in the society, especially in our universities. They no longer do it in total hideouts, rather they find what they call cool places to do their ‘thing’, (just to keep away from the sun and not necessarily to hide).
It was also discovered that Indian hemp is very much affordable in Ghana. One-eighth of an ounce of high-quality weed can cost GHC 30 ($15), whereas in the U.S., one-eighth costs $30 to $50. There are actually two types of Indian hemp in the country: “the natural and unadulterated ‘grass” and the “strong variety”. The latter is a mixture of ground cannabis leaves, paw paw leaves, cocaine and other stimulants. Since the weed is cheap, it is readily available to anybody that craves it.
Opinions have it that with the way things are going, the possibility of legalizing the possession of Indian hemp in Ghana is high. So many of the addicts give some unreasonable and ridiculous excuses for this anti-social action, such as, it helps them to relax after the day’s stress, some even say its a necessary medicine, it eases menstrual pains, clears the head and helps you attain academic success, makes you sleep soundly like a baby, etc.
However, the things that has remained unchanged at the moment about the intake of marijuana is its negative effects on the health of the smoker and as much as I know, any cannabis consumer in Ghana is still very much running the risk of being apprehended, so beware!
To curb this problem, I feel there needs to be cooperation among parents, the government and even religious leaders. We need to return to our values or else there would be a total breakdown in society. The parents should do their part by inculcating moral values into their children. The government should also ensure that offenders are apprehended and properly punished to serve as deterrent to others.
What do you think has led to this increase in the rate of Indian hemp smoking in the former Gold Coast? Are there other positive benefits they derive from it or…? And how do you think it could be controlled? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.