15th December 2021
5 minutes read.
The POS Foundation has joined a one day Focal Group discussion on the Global Drug Policy index 2021 score Sensitization forum. The program was held at Mensvic Hotel, Accra on 15th December, 2021. The Focal Group discussion focused on various approaches to effectively respond to the global Drug index recommendations with policies.
The Chairman for the program, Mr. Yaw Akwesi Sarpong during his remarks admonished varies stakeholders present to take up the challenge in not just advocating for drug policy but to work on it using their expertise.
He said " the first problem in Ghana is that, in the drug policy space, there is a lot of advocacy but there is no practice on the ground and I'm sure this is the time where some of you will begin to pick up from there and do the thing".
He added that, workshop like theses should not be used as talking shops but as avenues to begin to think outside the box and work towards drug policy issues.
Timothy Debrah expanciated the drug policy index, it's objectives, way foward stakeholders can implement it in their day to day activities.
"We can use the drug policy index to track progress towards aligning the drug policies with the United Nations standard. Civil Societies and community networks can employ the index to hold government accountable and to advocate for reform. The media can also share the critical data and stories of the new experience highlighted by the index which can be used to inform high quality coverage".
Honorable Seth Acheampong , the Eastern regional minister gives some key notes on the drug policy index. He lamented that the drug policy has been marked out as a great concern to African countries especially Ghana. He also highlighted the fcat that the challenge for the government to achive a drug free society due to the dependant of outdyaed and harmful policies.
"For decades, trading trading how well badly government are doing in the drug policy has been an elusive task, partly this is because there must be out of collection method have been driven by the outdated and harmful goal of achieving the drug free society".
The Exucitive Director for POS Foundation, Mr Jonathan Osie Owusu highlighted the enforcement of Nacortics Control Act 1019, 2020 and advocated on behalf persons who have been imprisoned due to the intake of the hard drugs and explained that most of them have critical health issues which needs medical attention and if imprisoned would worsen their case.
The country scored 36 out of an overall 100 marks. This ranking was marked by a forum on the GDP Index on humane and health-driven drug policies, according to the inaugural edition released by the Harm Reduction Consortium.
Hon. Seth Acheampong, the Eastern Regional Minister and under whose chairmanship in the Defence and Interior Parliamentary Committee, saw the Narcotic Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019) passed , said the Legislative Instrument is at the advanced draft stage. He's of the believe that, Ghana would score higher ranking in the coming years, when the bill is passed.
Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, chairman of the event and Former Executive Secretary of the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), admonished stakeholders to be resolute in their advocacy and push for drug policy to be seen in the Public health and Human Rights Perspective rather than crime. He therefore admonished participants to utilize their field of study or work to research and advocate for the legalization of the cannabis (weed) for industrial and medicinal purposes.
Stakeholders who participated in the event were Nacortics Control Commission, Harm reduction Alliance, POS Foundation, the West Africa Drug Policy Network and the media.
The global drup policy index is a unique tool that that documents, measures and compares national level drug policies which provides each country with a score of ranking that shows how much their policies towards drugs align with the UN Policies of human rights, public health and development.