Former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kumbungu Constituency, Ras Mubaraksays Ghana should begin to appreciate the immense economic value of marijuana rather than keep classifying it as an illegal substance.
He argues that legalizing and commercializing the substance under strict regulations can ultimately lead to it surpassing cocoa and oil to becoming the highest foreign exchange earner for the country.
According to him, Canada and the United States of America are both raking in billions of dollars annually from the commercialization of marijuana and wants Ghana to follow suit.
“We need to dissuade the minds of people. We’ve depended so much on cocoa and soon we will have to stop relying on oil too and we will not be gaining any revenue from that. So we need to look at generating revenue from our other resources”, he stated.
He believes Ghana has arable farmland to produce and compete if not surpass the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry of Canada and the US. “In Ghana, we have large tracts of land which supports the growth of marijuana and promise higher yields. It will also create jobs for our farmers who after harvesting their food crops have to wait till another planting season, leaving their lands fallow. But if we can plant marijuana during that fallow period, it’ll be a huge source of revenue to the country”, he mentioned.
Ras Mubarak was interviewed on the Happy Morning Show hosted by Raymond Nyamador and aired on e.TV Ghana and Happy98.9FM.
Especially in the era of COVID-19 and with the country facing economic challenges, the politician believes Ghana would have been better off had it legalized the use and sale of Marijuana strictly for industrial and medicinal purposes.
The farmer who insists he has never intentionally ingested marijuana shared that he might have used eye-drops and hair creams which were made from the substance. “The closest I have ever come to taking marijuana was when someone gave me ice cream which I did not know was made from weed”.
The battle to legalize Marijuana in Ghana has increased in recent times with celebrities, MPs and others championing the cause.
In March 2020 however, the Ghanaian Parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, which will allow the use and cultivation of Marijuana for medical and industrial uses — but only the variety that is better known as hemp.
The new law limits the allowable concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the plants — the substance that gets people high — to not more than 0.3%.
Recreational Marijuana use remains illegal in Ghana.