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Feature Infusing liquor with 'weed'; The new craze in town?

In areas around Tema in Ghana, the drink is known as "Shocker", "Amen" in Osu, and "Wengeze" in Adabraka. For the people of East Legon, the drink is termed "Atemuda".

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The practice, also known as Green Dragon, is apparently not new, as it is already trending in certain geographic areas (File photo) play

The practice, also known as Green Dragon, is apparently not new, as it is already trending in certain geographic areas (File photo)

I have always thought that alcohol mixed with cannabis was only used to heal wounds, at least from what I've seen in movies. But, I was taken aback when I came across its current use in some communities in Ghana.

A muscular man, probably in his early 30s, shirtless in briefs and covered in sweat outraged my community on Easter Sunday, after he began throwing tantrums, hitting cars, attacking innocent children and other community members at random.

I was returning from church with my mother, but I was forced to stop a few metres to the gate of my house, over fears that the man might attack my mother and I in the vehicle.

It later took the intervention of strong, able-bodied men in the neighbourhood to calm the situation, as they escorted the man to an isolated room in the neighbourhood.

So, as curious as I was to find out the reasons behind the man's strange behaviour, I approached one of my neighbours who had previously been at the scene of the incident.

She told me that the man was high following the alcohol he had at the drinking spot opposite my home. When I sought to find out why a man could behave this abnormally over a pint of alcohol, the woman quickly told me that the 'wee' in the alcohol is the cause of the problem.

'Wee' in alcohol? I was shocked; I mean why should weed or cannabis be infused with alcohol and be sold to customers, I wondered.

So I asked a few people, and the answer was “It's normal”, as it causes one to be “high”.

But, should it be so? Well, this happens to be one of the few aftermaths of consuming alcohol mixed with weed.

The practice, also known as Green Dragon, is apparently not new, as it is already trending in certain geographic areas. It involves weed soaked in high-proof alcohol.

play In areas around Osu, the drink is termed "Amen"

 

In areas around Tema in Ghana, the drink is known as "Shocker", "Amen" in Osu, and "Wengeze" in Adabraka. For the people of East Legon, the drink is termed "Atemuda".

However, "getting high", no matter how you do it, has health risks that could be permanent.

Ghana's Food and Drugs Authority [FDA], has underscored the need to regulate the production and consumption of alcohol in the country.

The Authority has, over the years, said it will ensure that alcohol products are produced under safe and hygienic conditions.

play The Food and Drugs Authority

 

The FDA has also said that it will pay frequent visits to alcohol producing companies to ensure that the producers adhere to the safety and hygienic guidelines governing the production of alcohol. But how often are such visits being done? How can we ensure that retailers of the product are not engaging in unwholesome practices to increase sales?

It behooves the Authority and other regulatory agencies to step up their game.

So, as we reflect on these thoughts, here are some reasons as to why the practice of allegedly infusing 'weed' into alcohol should be nipped in the bud.

1.  The practice results in greening out, a term used to describe a situation where a person may feel sick after smoking marijuana. The individuals may go pale and sweaty, feel dizzy with “the spins,” nauseous, and may even start vomiting, medicaldaily.com has said.  

2.  Mixing alcohol and marijuana can also cause paranoia, which makes people make flawed or even fatal choices. Alcohol and marijuana are both depressants, which work by slowing down the central nervous system, Psychology Today has said.

An ingredient of marijuana is THC that is absorbed into the blood faster when alcohol is also present.

Effects of using these substances together can be very unpredictable, as it  could cause anxiety, panic, or terror in people who use both substances at the same time.

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