Mr Samuel Codjoe Hanu, Executive Director for Harm Reduction Alliance, has advocated for the decriminalisation of the use and possession of drugs.
Rather, efforts should be made to improve treatment and harm reduction services to reduce the harms of drug misuse to ensure public safety and health.
Mr Hanu made the call at Nima during an engagement session organised by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), an international non-profit organization to enlighten the youth about the effects of using drugs and how to minimise its harms.
SSDP focuses on drug policy, the war on drugs, marijuana legalization, psychedelics, juvenile justice and youth rights, drug decriminalization, criminal justice reform
Mr Hanu said the call to decriminalise the use of drugs had been necessitated because public drug policies have been poorly designed and have failed to reduce the availability and use of drugs.
”We believe that public policies like the war on drugs are an utter failure. It was meant to keep our society drug-free, but drug use is increasing…so we are advocating that it is impossible to have a drug-free society so we should focus on harm reduction,” he said.
Thus, there was a need to review and introduce alternative drug policies such as the decriminalisation of drugs or the regulation of drug use.
Mr Hanu further urged the government to identify opportunities in making money from the industrial and medicinal use of some drugs such as cannabis to create employment.
Country Lead for SSDP, Mr. David Ansah said the engagement was geared towards educating the youth on the services available for drug users and how to ensure harm reduction.
“This project is to educate drug users on harm reduction activities and how to protect themselves and how they can seek services”
He urged the government to come to the aid of drug users “to help make them assets and not liabilities.”