Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the wake of the ongoing national debate over whether or not to legalise the use of marijuana in Ghana, popular musician Wanlov the Kubolor says the law that prohibits its possession and use is “foolish”.

The raging debate was sparked after the arrest and ongoing prosecution of popular hiplife musician Kwaw Kesse in Kumasi for smoking a substance suspected to be marijuana.

“What I’m trying to deal with is the fact that people are saying that if Kwaw Kesse should go free then all other weed people who have been arrested should also go free, which is true because that law is too strict and it is a very foolish law. At least ten years jail time doesn’t really make sense,” Wanlov told NEWS-ONE.

Kwaw Kesse has been denied bail thrice and is expected to be in court on December 22.

Wanlov continued: “Kwaw is representing everybody in that situation. At the moment, legal proceedings are ongoing and you know they cost money. He is going to be paying his lawyer. If he was granted bail, he could be working and gathering money. Right now if he is fined or told to do time, he will still have to pay his lawyer and the state.”

Wanlov, who performed live at the just ended Big Weekend Afro-Beats Festival, has been very vocal ever since rapper Kwaw Kesse was apprehended for publicly smoking a substance suspected to be marijuana.

During his performance at the concert, Wanlov sang a song calling for Kwaw’s release.

Wanlov disclosed that Ghanaians do not want to legalise the use of “hemp” because they are being influenced by the western world who themselves have legalised its use.

“We have ministers here that leave the country to go and sit at these weed joints in Amsterdam and smoke. We follow blindly; let’s open our eyes and amend these laws.  They are only copying America where they themselves have now legalised it. The first instance for them banning weed was because they said it makes white women have sex with black men. Later, the economic reason also applied to it. They realised that hemp-producing countries would become stronger economic powerhouses than America,” he said.

“When hemp is processed into rope, it is seven times stronger and lasts way longer than steel. If Ghana harnesses the power of hemp and uses it in many ways like medicine and other things, it can put us somewhere,” Wanlov said.

Lawyer and politician Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Executive Director of Danquah Institute (DI), has also expressed misgivings about Kwaw’s situation and described the law under which he was arrested as an “absolutely stupid” one. He said such an arrest can happen only in a “primitive society”.

So why should a very popular musician who, I presume, had no previous record, whose address is known, be remanded in jail for smoking weed? Is it because of that stupid law passed by the NPP in a panic reaction to MV Benjamin? I am not for any drugs (weed, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, cigarette etc) but this law is absolutely stupid!” Mr Otchre-Darko wrote on his facebook wall not long after Kwaw’s arrest.

He added: “We are indeed a primitive society! We jail a person for 18 years for defrauding a person of mobile money (phone units). We jail a person eight years for stealing a goat. We lock people up for smoking what civilised societies may consider as a mere Class C drug. We grant bail to drunk drivers who mow down and slaughter five bystanders and, we celebrate those who create schemes to loot and share the billions of dollars that should offer education and skills training, build our infrastructure and open the economic space so that jobs can be created for those with education and trade to not fall into the temptation of petty theft, fraud and what have you… And, we will spend inordinate amount of airtime talking about things that have nothing to do with keeping our people alive, safe, healthy, educated and prosperous. And, we are happy to shout on roof tops: edey beeee kεkε!”


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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).


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