Cannabis or weed is one of the most abused narcotic substances in many countries and as a result attracts stiffer punishments for law breakers.
Its illegality relates to cultivation, possession and the buying and selling of cannabis. In Ghana, it could lead to being sentenced to imprisonment for about 15 years, according to our laws.
Despite the implementation of our country’s laws against the use of cannabis, it is still consumed by some people and has found its roots among children between the ages of 14-19, especially, who are in High School. Cannabis use is now an increasing trend with pupils in in the cities and schools.
On the 14th of July, 2021, a surprise inspection in one of the schools located in Ayawaso Central shockingly found a wrapped substance in a pupil’s bag. The said substance was suspected to be cannabis and led to the transfer of five students to other schools within Ayawaso Central.
The consequences of smoking weed are very dire and need strict measures to salvage the situation. Some side effects of cannabis are possible mental issues, which can derail the prospects for children’s education. Smoking weed may lead to a low or weakened immune system, which makes one susceptible to any disease. Sore in the mouth and throat are part of the effects of smoking cannabis.
The parliament of Ghana in 2019 passed a law to permit the use, sale, and production of cannabis for medicinal purposes and production of jute sack at a concentration of not more than 0.3% of the chemical component called tetrahedron cannabinoid against 75% of the same chemical component which causes intoxication of the human body system.
The government of Ghana through the Ghana Education service will need to put out measures that help teachers identify susceptible pupils and commit them to counseling and psychosocial support. The government and educational institutions cannot effectively curb this menace without the support of parents. Parents must be part of solving the issue by monitoring the movement of their children and their friends in schools or back home. Peer influence is believed to play a major role in children’s lives, than parents, sometimes.