Residents of Awoshie- Anyaa market, a suburb of Accra, have expressed concerns over the recent development in the community regarding the youth’s brazen involvement in smoking of Indian hemp popularly known as ‘weed.’
According to the worried residents, the development is fast influencing other children to drop out of school in order to join this rather unfortunate lifestyle which has the potential to ruin their future.
Speaking to Public Agenda on the worrying development, a resident of the area, Akwale popularly known as Kofi Maa said, she is really scared for the future of these children.
She noted that children within the ages of 13and16 who are supposed to be in school have joined and taking part in the smoking and selling Indian hemp.
Some of these youngsters, she said, abuse these drugs by mixing ‘’wee’’ and alcohol known as ‘arostor’, the recent one is the mixture of alcohol and Tramadol capsule. Once they are ‘’high’’ on these drugs, they lose their self-control.
The situation, according to her, is getting out of hand as some of these children sleep in the market or the drinking spots which serve as their meeting place at night for days without going home.
She indicated that the habit of smoking among the youth has increased the rate of phones snatching from strangers especially at night because the children do not work and needs to feed themselves and buy drugs.
She added that she wished the police would do something to stop this lifestyle but explained that, some police force have being in the area several times but they arrest these smokers, carry them to an unknown destination, take money from them and set them free.
Another resident, with the name Simon, lamented that, “some of us cannot breath fresh air without inhaling the smell of wee’’. Those of us living in this area are in danger. Sometimes, you will be at home and be inhaling their smoke which is dangerous to our health. Aside the smoking, these people make a lot of noise that you can’t even sleep.
Simon said, “Our lives and that of our children’s lives are not safe, sometimes situation get worse in the sense that, these guys engages in fight with their fellow wee smokers in other communities which sometimes result in serious injuries. We will appreciate it if they smoke in their various homes and not in public.”
“We are calling on the law enforcement agencies to come to our aid to help clear this ‘’nonsense’’ we are going through.”
Anyaa Market was once a peaceful place when this lifestyle was not introduced.
According to a story published by Modern Ghana.com in September 2017, Mr Logosu Amegashie, the Head of the Addictive Diseases Unit of the Department of Medicine at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital stated that, about 30 percent of out-patient visits to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital each year were marijuana-related. About 10 percent of admission cases at the hospital are also marijuana- related.
Marijuana is said to contain psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which psychiatrists have identified as a major cause of psychotic illness or simply madness.
By: Latifa Carlos