These drug peddlers mostly, mothers who should have known better, have also processed some of these drugs into akpeteshie bitters popularly known as ‘lacker’ and other items. Although the police are at their heels, they are always trying to be a step ahead of the security agencies.
Intelligence gathered by police so far indicated that most of them picked the habit from as far back as junior high school by patronising some of these shito, biscuits and toffees and have graduated into smoking the weed.
Instead of wrapping the substance in the usual light white paper (wrapper) and smoking it at hideouts, the users have now found innovative ways of using it without drawing unnecessary attention to themselves and the drug.
The Ashanti Regional Commander of the Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) of the police, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jeremiah Alale, said most of the sellers now added the substance to these items and selling them to the users on the blind side of the public.
The most patronised among them is the lacker, which the commander explained is the favourite of the users.
Addressing students of Kumasi High (KUHIS) as part of an ongoing sensitisation programme to educate them on the dangers of illicit drugs, ASP Alale said some students also added the substance to their ‘shito’ or even chew it while going for prep to make them stay awake for longer hours.
In recent times, he said the unit had arrested lots of people with this adulterated products, an indication that their consumption was on the rise in the region.
Mr Alale said the unit had also observed that most of the people had now resorted to the use of these methods just to avoid the long arm of the law.
That, he said, would not help them, adding that when caught and proven that the items contain narcotic drugs, they would be dealt with according to the law.
He said over the years, the security departments of the most of the tertiary institutions in the region had been handing over suspects arrested with narcotics to them for prosecution.
According to Mr Alale, most of the students were unaware of the punishment that came with using narcotic drugs and thought it wise to embark on the educational programme to let the students know the dangers that awaited them.
He advised them to stay away from drugs as aside from jeopardising their lives, their careers might come to an end when caught with these narcotic drugs.
He said one stood to spend a minimum of 10 years in jail if caught and convicted on possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.
Currently, Adwoa Ateene, a 35 year-old resident of Tarkwa Maakro, is standing trial at the Kumasi Circuit Court for illegal possession of substances suspected to be cannabis without lawful authority.
She was arrested with seven parcels of compressed dried leaves, one black polythene bag containing 101 newspaper wraps of dried leaves all suspected to be cannabis, 87 sachets containing lacker and a 20-litre rubber container of the same drink.