Mr Kofi Akpaloo, the Founder and Leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), has declared the Party’s intention to legalise and regulate the commercial production and export of marijuana or “wee” if it wins the 2020 election.
Regardless of the psychological, mental, legal and health implications of its use, the Party believes the socio-economic value and health benefits of the plant are enormous to ignore its legalization.
He said the “indigenous African sacred herb” remains key to resuscitating Ghana’s wobbling economic quagmire and financial abyss – it is used for making car dashboards, door handles, clothes, and treatment of cancer, convulsion, epilepsy among others.
Speaking in an interview with the media in Cape Coast, Mr Akpaloo said the legalisation of marijuana would raise a substantial amount of revenue, normalise trade imbalances, create employment and put a lot of money into the pockets of individual farmers.
Giving statistics to buttress his claims, he said, it has contributed more than $6billion after its legalization in Canada and generated about $135 million in taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana use in Colorado as sales in the state totaled over $996 million.
In North America, sale grew by 30 percent, to $6.7 billion, in 2016, and is projected to increase to $20.1 billion by 2021.
Touching on the various revenue streams to the country, he said, the cultivation of the herb was more profitable than cocoa and rallied support for its legalization.
“Ghana stands to gain more from international trade of marijuana than cocoa because a kilo of marijuana is $3,000 whereas a kilo of cocoa is $20. An acre of marijuana farm will fetch 100 bags while same acre will yield 10 bags of cocoa,” he said.
On the 2020 polls, Mr Akpaloo said, his Party was the most favorite to win but cautioned that a vote for Mr John Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate for the 2020 election would be dangerous and suicidal.
It would be disaster should Ghanaians vote for Mr Mahama and his government back into power, and said “he has nothing new to offer Ghanaians and that he is an old wine in a new bottle.
He said President Akufo-Addo was doing his best to salvage the economy, looking at his good work and commitment to deliver on his promises to Ghanaians.
Yet, he rallied the rank and file of his supporters to remain hopeful in LPG as it puts in place well thought-out policies to attract and retain more votes in the 2020 polls.