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20.05.2004 Crime & Punishment

Over 900 arrested for drug offences last year

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Dodowa (G/R), May 20, GNA - A total of 987 people were arrested for various narcotic drug offences by the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) in 2003.

Out of the number 888 were arrested for dealing in cannabis (Indian hemp) and were made up of 842 men and 46 women; 60 people made up of 58 men and two women in heroin while 39 others arrested for cocaine included a woman.

Mr Moses Othniel- Moses, an official of NACOB, announced this at a three-day workshop on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS for 35 Journalists at Dodowa.

Speaking on: "Drug Production and Trafficking in Ghana," Mr Othniel-Moses said cultivation of cannabis was on the increase particularly in the country with Brong Ahafo, Western, Eastern and Volta Regions having the large hectares under cultivation.

He said research had shown that more enlightened persons were indulged in the cultivation and sale of cannabis to make "quick monies". He expressed regret that most of the farms randomly visited by NACOB officials had food crops grown among cannabis, saying, "we have no option than to destroy both the food crops and the cannabis".

Mr Othniel-Moses stressed the need to intensify education on the bad effects the cultivation of cannabis among food crops had on the economy since it could affect food security in some areas of the country. He, therefore, called for an end to the cultivation and supply of cannabis to halt its demand.

The NACOB Official reminded chiefs and the youth of the law on narcotic drugs whereby lands used in cultivating cannabis could be confiscated to the State.

He urged the youth not to be influenced by people to cultivate cannabis because of its effect on the nation and future generations. Mr Othniel-Moses urged the media and the youth to join forces with NACOB to educate communities on the dangers of narcotic drugs. 20 May 04