The acting CEO of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo has made a call for a national conversation on using marijuana for medical purposes.
In a conversation with the host of The Lounge, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo on Friday, Prof. Dodoo said: “I’m not advocating that we should promote marijuana but several countries are now promoting medical marijuana including Canada… they are now creating green houses to grow it and we have them in the bush but currently it’s illegal. But that argument; that discussion should start.
According to the World Drug Report, marijuana, or cannabis, is “the most widely cultivated, produced, trafficked and consumed drug worldwide.”
The legalization of the drug and its adoption for medical use has been characterized by controversy the world over. Some scientists and experts have argued that using marijuana for medical purposes could assist in the treatment of many illnesses, but others are of the view that legalizing medical marijuana could lead to addiction.
Some nations including Germany, Canada, Australia, and some states in the United States have legalized it while countries like the Netherlands, Colombia and Czech Republic have amended their law to allow consumption for medical purposes at the very least.
Prof. Dodoo, who is also a pharmacologist, was of the view that Ghana stands to make great gains if the issue is critically and holistically examined.
“If we have the best products, why don’t we produce it at least for exports to the market in America, the market in Uruguay, the market in Canada and in several other countries where they need it for medical purposes,” he said.
According to him, he is a firm believer of herbal medicines and further indicated that the herbal medicine industry “has the potential to transform Ghana but we should have a discussion. Anybody who says herbal medicines are dangerous is wrong.”
He noted that if Ghana wants to develop its herbal industry, it should take lessons from Germany.
“Germany uses a lot of herbal medicines which are evaluated according to what Germany feels provides a fair balance between promoting the product and protecting the public and we should do that in Ghana,” he said.