The new Narcotics Control Commission Bill 2019 is in the process of being enacted in Ghana. This bill will replace the Narcotics Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions) Law, PNDCL 236, 1990 which failed to consider the health and wellbeing of drugs users.
Actually, several attempts at reviewing the current Ghanaian PNDC Law 236 were made from 2006 to 2015. The latest attempt, despite a second reading of the bill in parliament, was unfortunately unsuccessful due to the 2016 parliamentarian and presidential elections. Providentially, giving the momentum and the extend of the discussion on the bill before of the election as well as the stage it has reached in the parliament, the new government took the old bill and is currently fast tracking it through the legislative process.
This constitutes great opportunity for Ghana to do an honest assessment of the failures and successes chalked in the fight again drugs. This process should not just be seen as another process of repeating the mistakes made in the past but an opportunity to take into consideration some of the good practices elsewhere and the evidence-based practices and implement them to the good of the citizens of this country. There is the need for a paradigm shift to evidence-based approaches that have worked in other jurisdictions. It is a great opportunity for Ghana and that opportunity should not be trashed by moving to the old school but rather consider all the global steps taken regarding addressing the Global drug problem. Documents from The United National General Special Session on the World Drug Problem Outcome Document of which was part and signed the outcome document as recommendations for member states to implement in their Drug Control mechanisms. Taking cognizance of these tangible and significant d’Ivoire, a coalition of civil society organisations is organising a public lecture to engage community citizens on the necessity to have drug policies grounded on human rights, public health and harm reduction. The public lecture will attract an audience made of citizens from all walks of life to increase their understanding on the matter and empower them to advocate for public health approaches to drug related harms.