“Narcotics Bill”: We are only correcting a mistake; we are not going back to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Bagbin

Bagbin - Rapid News GH

The Supreme Court’s ruling that the clause in the bill that seeks to amend the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) to give the Minister for the Interior the authority to grant a license for the cultivation of cannabis for industrial use or for medicinal purposes was unconstitutional, according to Speaker of the House Alban Bagbin, was overturned.

He said Parliament is only correcting an error.

Speaker Bagbin said these after the presentation and the first reading of the Narcotics Regulation Commission Amendment Bill, 2023, by the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, July 6.

The Supreme Court had struck out the law on granting licenses to grow cannabis, popularly known as ‘wee’, because there was no debate in Parliament on it before its passage into law, as stipulated by Article 106 (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution.

But the Speaker who indicated that the country was losing out because of this decision, said he made his displeasure over the ruling known to the justices of the apex court in a meeting and urged them to consult Parliament for proper briefings whenever they are making such decisions.

“We are not reconsidering the Supreme Court’s ruling; rather, we are looking to fix a mistake and reinstate the proper provision. In order to have the Committee on Defence and Interior review the measure and report back to the House, I will do so.

“Within a week, the Committee could present the report. It is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I believe the nation is losing a great deal as a result of this [Supreme Court] ruling. We must act quickly to right the situation.

“I hope that the three branches of government will cooperate and respect one another,” he continued. When in doubt, it’s crucial to consult the other arm before committing to whatever course of action the other arm desires.

“I don’t believe it is appropriate for the judiciary to make such a significant decision without consulting the house since they have no knowledge of how we conduct our business here.

“I have told them about this, and I want the public to know about it because it will benefit the nation. Please submit your report within the next week, committee.

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