Today is International Day against Drug Abuse and Ghana, as usual, will mark this with pomp and pageantry.
As in the past, in the last year, there have been drug arrests, from Accra to London to New York, that have implicated the highest levels of our governance and the shamed us through the involvement of the powerful, the old and the young.
Some wonder whether our governments protect the public interests or drug interests. A 2007 World Drug Report suggested that about one of every five Ghanaians between 15 and 64 use marijuana.
Indeed, while attention is justly focused on marijuana and other illegal drugs, alcohol is doing great damage to our nation. Millions of our citizens walk around who elsewhere, will be properly speaking, alcoholics. These drugs have become the diversion for poor and rich alike. I remember the story by the Doctor who once saw a queue in a suburb of Kumasi at dawn while driving to the hospital. Thinking they were selling “koko and kose”, he stopped. They were selling marijuana!
I also recall the Akpeteshie seller in a village in Central Region who told me that her akpeteshie patrons “wake me up very early because they need drinks to get going. When I open the door, some are shaking till they get the first shot”.
Every person with insight should shudder at what we are facing.
As I make clear in my book, “THE DRUG INVASION OF WEST AFRICA”, the emerging drug crisis will, if permitted to reach its full potential, dwarf Dumsor, Corruption and Unemployment combined in its effects.
Our emerging generation will be dominated by addicts.
Our families will suffer stresses from drugs.
Violent crime will sky rocket.
Illnesses related to drugs will explode.
You get the picture.
Our religious leaders must step up the strengthening of our moral fibre--- by celebrating good people, honest wealth and good habits.
Our law enforcement agencies must protect our borders and our families from those who will prey on us.
We must stop politicizing drugs and isolate those who hide behind our parties to deal drugs. It is a non-political crime that has no place in our politics.
We must start cleaning our roads by requiring commercial drivers to take drug and alcohol tests before licensing and periodically.
Let us take a stand against drugs and for Ghana--- together.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy
26th June, 2015
Email: [email protected]
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