Ghana’s bold step away from the ‘war on drugs’

Could seismic changes in Ghana’s narcotics laws herald a shift in Africa’s drug policy?
ISS Today (UK)
Friday, October 13, 2017

Ghana is poised to become the first African country, and the first country outside of Europe and the Americas, to decriminalise the personal possession and use of all illegal drugs. Ghana’s Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2017 (the ‘Narcotics Bill’), which will repeal and replace existing drug offences, is expected to be passed later this year. The proposed legislation seeks to address drug use as a ‘public health issue’. Implementing it would mark a significant departure from Ghana’s previous drugs policy, which, like those in other West African countries and around the world, wielded punitive sentencing as a key weapon in a ‘war on drugs’. (See also: Is drug policy in Africa on the cusp of change? The unfolding debate in Ghana)