Before Allah created human beings, there was a marijuana tree”: marijuana myths and culture in the “Ghettoes” of Maamobi Zongo community, Accra
Keywords:Marijuana, Myth, Ghetto, Islam
The objective of my paper is to deploy marijuana etiological myths in the “ghettoes” of Maamobi, Accra, to explain the persistence of the marijuana culture in Ghana. The fact that marijuana is a criminalized herb and yet remains a widely consumed herb by some of the youth leads to what I refer to as the ‘marijuana paradox ’. Consequently, rather than constructing myths as irrational, self-indulgent and relics of a pre-scientific past or antiquated, concocted fairytales, 1 use marijuana myths to explain how it informs the marijuana culture in Maamobi and also betrays the construction of the marijuana culture as a fad and a craze that could be controlled with laws. Using ethnographic research techniques such as in-depth interviews, focus group discussion, informal conversation, and participant observation, I argue that the over-reliance on external reasons, without digging into how marijuana myths inform the cultogenic and sociogenic of marijuana culture in the “ghettoes” of Maamobi, will continue to frustrate the efforts of stakeholders to stem the t ide against the consumption of the herb in Ghana.