17.03.2015 Feature Article

West Africa Drug Policy Network, & Analysis Of Bill To Transform Ghana’s Narcotics Board (NACOB) Into A Commission

West Africa Drug Policy Network,  Analysis Of Bill To Transform Ghanas Narcotics Board NACOB Into A Commission
17.03.2015 LISTEN

It will be recalled that Ep.31 of the Show looked at the necessity of civil society intervention in drug policy in West Africa. Subsequently, the Ghana Chapter of the newly-established Network (WaDruPoNe), which is backed by the Kofi Annan Foundation's West Africa Commission on Drugs, held a meeting 25 February to chart the way forward on the Network's advocacy.

In this second programme on civil society advocacy around drug policy in West Africa, we want to use the 36th edition of “Africa in Focus” to begin a very critical and important conversation on two things.

First: the implications of a transformation of the erstwhile Narcotics Control Board into a Narcotics Control Commission, and what that augurs for treatment of those hooked onto drugs. Advocates from the newly-established WaDruPoNe believe the Bill to sustain the old and repressive focus of “war on drugs”, which targets the small fish by imposing long and harsh sentences on them, in lieu of treating them as addicts in need of assistance by clinicians, psychologists, and public health professionals.

Second: the Network's call on members of the public and CSOs to support the call to SUPPORT NOT PUNISH drug users, with an equally-urgent call for a holistic review of the Bill before ratification by Parliament.

To this end, we will be speaking to two technical experts from the Ghana Chapter of the Network on the show to help speak to these issues, as well as a reformed drug user who can help speak to the necessity of drug policy reform.

Join us if you can at 1pm on 17 March, 2015.
Guiding questions
Why is an analysis of the new Narcotics Control Commission Bill (transform Narcotics Board into a Commission) important?

Does the bill address harm reduction strategies?
Is the NCC Bill what one may call a progressive one?

Despite the 2014 “Not Just in Transit” report by the West Africa Commission on Drugs, why have governments been slow in treating drug use as a public health issue?

How universal will the current bill address the needs of every Ghanaian drug user regardless of their socio-economic status?

Guests in the studio:
Ø Maria-Goretti Ane, Barrister/Solicitor & Regional Consultant, International Drug Policy Consortium

Ø Mohammed A Adamu , Founder/CEO WABHARM Foundation(GH)

Ø Christian “Lion” Lokko, Public Relations Officer, REMAR

On the line:
· Macmillan Prentice, Standards Officer, Ghana Standards Authority @13h15

· Kobby Blay, EbolaWatch @13h30