Drugs: has criminal justice failed us? is a week-long series of powerful and informative discussions and debates exploring drug policy reform in Ghana. It kicks off on Class FM91.3’s Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Monday 26th June.
Using the hashtag, #CLASSFMdrugsweek, EBS will ask: how effective is Ghana’s current approach? Who does it fail? Who does it serve? Is it punitive rather than public health oriented? Should it be a public health issue rather than a law and order focus? Does it protect individual’s human rights? These questions will be explored, debated and discussed throughout the week long special.
EBS will engage former drugs addicts, healthcare professionals, personnel from the National Law Enforcement Agency, Members of parliaments, policy makers, civil society representatives working on drug related issues, and the general public throughout the week.
Each morning the special will begin at 7.30am.
This week long Special Series is framed around the 2017 Global Day of Action on Drugs on 26thJune. Every year globally, this day of action highlights the harms being caused by what is described as the current punitive approach to drug problems. The ‘Support Don’t Punish’ Campaign invites the world to consider fresh approaches to dealing with the issue. And it calls for human rights protections of those who use drugs. Such protections include their right to health, life and the implementation of harm reduction services.
“Ghana’s current drug policy is very repressive. People who use drugs are seen as criminals, they are seen as ‘morally weak’ addicts,” says Maria Goretti Ane Loglo, of the West Africa Drug Policy Network – Ghana Chapter. She further added: “there is widespread marginalisation. People are treated as social outcasts, even though non-violent low level drug offenders generally make up the largest share of those sent to the criminal justice system.” Loglo concludes: “This approach exacerbates human rights abuses, such as ill-treatment and extortion by police. It means mass incarceration and arbitrary detention, in many cases without trial or due process.”
EAA Media Productions, West Africa Drug Policy Network – Ghana Chapter, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Class FM have come together to produce this Special Series. It is a multi-media project featuring on air discussions, social media engagement, a Twitter Poll and engagement from the general Public.
“I am proud that my company EAA Media Productions is the lead producer of this powerhouse series with this partnership”, said Esther Armah, Director of EAA Media Productions. She continued: “I strongly believe in media’s power to critically examine sensitive issues with care, clarity and bring those impacted, those dealing with addicts, those charged with creating policy and law to one mic in order to tackle the issue, grapple with the multiple perspectives and leave us all better informed and focused on resolution that serves a greater good.” She concluded, “My company’s specialism is local content with international standards for a global landscape”
DRUGS: has criminal justice failed us? will air every day from Monday 26th June to Friday 30th June 7.30am to 8.30am Executive Breakfast Show, ClassFM 91.3.