Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei is pushing against a push to legalise cannabis.
He argues that if the current ban on the use of the substance is lifted, the country will record alarming cases of mental disorders.
“Cannabis should not be legalised in Ghana for the simple reason that we know the harm that cannabis can cause to the human body and to the mind. In fact, cannabis contributes to mental health problems in Ghana. If you go to any of our psychiatric hospitals, for every 100 cases we see, 20 to 30 of them are drug-related at the outpatient department. Of those we admit to the wards, 10 out of 100 are drug-related.
“One will say ‘if 100 people take it and only 10 to 20 get a problem what is the big deal’? This is an avoidable condition. If the government attempts to legalise it, we will have more of such cases of mental illness,” he told Accra-based Class FM.
He was reacting to the many calls by eminent people in society for the legalisation of the herb.
Proponents say the banned substance has many medicinal uses.
Dr Akwasi Osei has also appealed the government to pass the legislative instrument to back Mental Health Act 846.
“We want the government to pass the LI and establish the mental health levy which is called for in the law. The levy will give us the money, and once we have the money, we will be able to procure all the services that we need,” said Dr Osei.