Parliament has not legalised cannabis for recreational purposes – Alban Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has explained that Parliament has not legalised cannabis for recreational purposes.

According to him, it is not in the interest of parliament to promote the use or smoking of cannabis.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, July 17, Mr Bagbin asserted that Parliament remains committed to ensure that cannabis is not legalised in the country in accordance with the constitution.

“It is imperative to reiterate, particularly in the face of the inaccurate media representation, that the purpose of our legislative action has never been, and is not now, to promote or legalise the recreational use or smoking of cannabis.

“In conclusion, therefore, the House remains steadfast in its commitment to enforcing the law against the unlawful use of cannabis.

“We will continue to act in a manner that upholds the Constitution, serves the public interest, and advances our nation’s development,” he said.

Parliament has since passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill 2023 into law.

Parliament passes NACOC Bill to allow cannabis cultivation for industrial and medicinal purposes
The passing will grant the Interior Ministry authority to issue licence for the cultivation of cannabis which has not more than 0.3% utility content on dry weight spaces for industrial or medicinal purposes.

This comes after the Supreme Court impeded the initial passage of the law by striking out section 43 of the law as unconstitutional.

But the Speaker and the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery slammed the apex court for that order, amended the law and inserted the same provision back into it.

On the back of this, the Speaker, who addressed the passing of the Bill in Parliament warned that any person who misunderstands the law passed by the House and misapplies it will face the consequences.

Mr Bagbin said that the cultivation and distribution of any narcotic plants without any lawful authority remains an offense.

He charged the police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute persons who will cultivate ‘wee’ in the name of the new law.

“I reiterate the cultivation, the manufacture, the processing, the production, the sale, the distribution or the use of narcotic plants, including wee, marijuana or synthetic or semi-synthetic drug without lawful authority remains an offense and is punishable by our laws.

“I therefore call on the law enforcement authorities to continue to investigate, to prosecute and to commit offenders to the sanctions of the law,” he stressed.

Alban BagbinCannabis
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