The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional the law which permits licence to be granted for the cultivation of cannabis or ‘wee’ in small quantities for industrial and medicinal purposes.
The apex court in a 4-3 majority decision yesterday annulled Section 43 of Act 1019, and declared that cannabis production is a violation of Article 106 of the 1992 constitution.
It said Section 43 of Act 1019 of the Narcotics Commission Act stipulates that “the Minister on the recommendation of the Commission, may grant a licence for the cultivation of cannabis, popularly referred to as “wee” in Ghana, which is not more than 0.3 % THC content on a dry weight basis for industrial purposes for obtaining fibre or seed for medicinal purposes.”
“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, particularly Article 106 (2) (a) (b), (5) and (6) thereof,” the court held.
Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution details the processes and procedures a bill may go through before being passed into law.
The Supreme Court did not provide the full reasons for its ruling, but said its decision would be filed at the Court’s Registry by August 11.
The Justices who ruled for the majority decision were Justices Jones Dotse, Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi. Contrarily, Justices Nene Amegatcher, Prof Nii Ashie Kotey and Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu disagreed.
The case was brought before the apex court by one Ezuame Mannan against the Attorney-General.
Ghana in March 2020 passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) to join other African countries in the cultivation and possible export of cannabis.
The Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019), which was assented to by the President on May 11, 2020, had enshrined a particular provision that relates to the cultivation of cannabis in the country.
Some African countries are already through their national legislations engaging in the cultivation and export of cannabis or ‘weed’.