Ratio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio Decidendi


(1979) JELR 69575 (HC)    
High Court  ·  8 Dec 1979 ·  Ghana
Other Citations
[1978] GLR 189

Ratio Decidendi

Core Terms Beta
prison sentence
indian hemp
award of a deterrent sentence
first brush
average person
matter of discretion
special circumstances
custodial sentence
deterrent sentence
common knowledge
quantity of indian hemp
learned circuit court judge
economic conditions
young men
top income bracket
said exercise of discretion
years’ imprisonment
bad weather
young offenders
mandatory legal requirement
circumstances of the case
general proposition
criminal justice
appellate court
taylor j.
good employment
high pitch
hard labour
lower court
question of sentence
honourable thing
subsistence farmer
stranglehold of these general economic difficulties
support of the offence
additional legitimate trade
produce of the land
cost of living
appellant must
interest of the reformative element
profit margin
average earnings of the average person
unpredictable rainfall conditions


This appellant originally appealed against his conviction and sentence for possessing Indian hemp contrary to sections 47 (1) and 57 (1) of the Pharmacy and Drugs Act, 1961 (Act 64), as amended. The offence is a really serious one for the quantity of Indian hemp involved was quite heavy since it weighed 17,706 grammes. The hemp was in fact contained in four bags. When the appeal came on for hearing, counsel in my view very properly abandoned the appeal against conviction. The evidence in support of the offence of possessing Indian hemp is so overwhelming that I think the most honourable thing for any offender who is remorseful is to throw in the towel and abandon an appeal which any tribunal bent on doing justice, will, without hesitation, dismiss summarily. In the circumstances I dismissed the appeal against conviction summarily.

The appellant, however, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment with hard labour. He is young and this is his first brush with the law. I have sa…

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