SC ruling declaring law to grow cannabis as unconstitutional is disappointing – Otchere-Darko

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A Former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Mr Gabby Otchere-Darko has said the Supreme Court ruling which declared as unconstitutional the law on license to grow cannabis popularly known as “wee” in Ghana, is disappointing.

He said he is not alone in the disappointment.

“A disappointing decision, in my view, and I am not alone. Thankfully, it was a 4:3 split decision. We hope and should be confident that a review application, if filed, will be successful. The issue of commercialising cannabis for good uses is epochal,” Mr OtchereDarko tweeted.

He added “It is, however, important to note that the Court did not make a moral pronouncement on cannabis but had procedural issues with the application of the law in conformity with the Constitution.”

The apex court has declared as unconstitutional a section of the Narcotic Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) which allows licence to be granted to an entity to cultivate a small quantity of cannabis, for industrial and medicinal purposes.

In a 4-3 majority decision Wednesday, July 28, 2022, a seven-member panel held that Section 43 of Act 1019 violated 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 plaintiff’s action succeeds. Accordingly, Section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) is thereby declared null and void and struck out as unconstitutional as it contravenes the letter and spirit of the Constitution, 1992, particular Article 106 (2) (a) (b), (5) and (6) thereof,” the court held.

Earlier, Mr Otchere-Darko who is also a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) underscored that Indian hemp now has a high demand for medicinal, cosmetic and industrial uses.

Soon, he said, Ghana’s parliament permitting, a whole new economy will emerge in Ghana from Indian hemp.

“Soon, parliament permitting, a whole new economy will emerge in Ghana from Indian hemp which now has a HIGH demand for medicinal, cosmetic and industrial uses. Eg. Guyanese govt dedicating tens of thousands of hectares to the business.

“We can’t lose out!” he said tweet reacting to a publication by Archinect, to the effect that Hemp is about to take an outsized role in the building industry’s push to go green.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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