The highest court in Ghana has reaffirmed its previous decision to nullify a section of a law that permitted growing some types of cannabis for industrial and medicinal uses.
The court rejected a review application filed by the Attorney General’s office in a split decision of 5-4.
The Attorney General had sought to overturn an earlier ruling by the Supreme Court that favoured a private citizen who challenged the constitutionality of the section of the law that was passed without following due process.
The private citizen argued that the section of the law was inserted without an explanatory memorandum as required by law.
The court upheld its earlier position that the section of the law violated Article 106 of the 1992 constitution which outlines the steps a bill must go through before becoming a law.
In July 2022, the court declared Section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019) as unconstitutional.
Section 43 of Act 1019 gave the Interior Minister the power to grant a licence to an entity to grow cannabis with not more than 0.3 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content on a dry weight basis for industrial purposes for obtaining fibre or seed for medicinal purposes.
The court ruled that the law was unconstitutional 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.
The court also ruled that the explanatory memorandum attached to the bill placed before Parliament did not set out in detail the policy change, the defects in the existing law and the necessity to introduce a law to licence the cultivation of cannabis.
Such an omission, it ruled, was a violation of Article 106 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.