Malawi seeks cannabis to supplement the losses caused by anti-smoking campaigns around the world
Malawi is the last African country to consider the legalization of cannabis after seeing the experience of other countries such as Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Given that the tobacco industry in Malawi, which is currently one of the largest sources of wealth in the country, has lost economic value as a result of anti-tobacco campaigns, farmers now want to be able to grow cannabis legally.
Although cannabis in Malawi is illegal, the reality is that it is still a very popular substance that is grown, consumed and sold both nationally and internationally. In the Chichewa region, it is locally known as “chamba”.
Malawi’s marijuana, especially the variety known as Malawi Gold, is internationally recognized as one of the best sativa varieties in Africa. According to a World Bank report, it is one of the best and best strains of marijuana in the world. It is a pure African sativa with an impressive psychoactive effect. In fact, the fame of this variety has led to a spectacular increase in cannabis tourism in Malawi.
Malawi’s economy has long depended on tobacco, which accounts for 13 percent of its gross domestic product and 60 percent of its foreign exchange earnings.
But as tobacco prices per kilogram have fallen, farmers are struggling to legalize cannabis.
A traditional tobacco grower complains that in most cases, farmers like him, who are already poor, fight very hard to find the money to transport their tobacco to the market and then sell it at prices as low as 50 cents. per kilogram.
Health campaigns against tobacco use have ended profits, so farmers are trying to be allowed to grow cannabis, the plant that produces marijuana and hemp.
Any traditional tobacco grower ensures that once you grow hemp, with only a small part that sells, you get more money than you can get from any other crop.
Therefore, Malawi joins other countries such as Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe to legalize cannabis after years of debate.
Lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize medical marijuana and hemp products. Malawi’s parliamentarian, Boniface Kadzamira, has long promoted the legalization of cannabis. But the African bureaucracy is terrible and the matter will need time to be a reality.
“We were the first in this part of Africa to start discussing this, and the countries that followed us have overtaken us and have already started issuing licenses,” Kadzamira said.
For their part, Malawi’s anti-drug activists say that the legalization of medical marijuana will encourage the recreational use of the drug. Nelson Zakeyu is the executive director of Drug Fight Malawi, one of the most active anti-cannabis groups in Malawi.
Zakeyu told the media that since local marijuana is commonly used in the country, if it is legalized, it is as if they were telling young people to consume local marijuana.
However, the words of Nelson Zakeyu lack statistical basis. In fact, if you read the article published in cannabisground.com called “Adolescents consume less cannabis in states where it is legal”, it can be proven that marijuana use among adolescents has decreased in the states in which recreational marijuana has legalized.
On the other hand, smoking a Malawi Gold joint in Malawi is as accessible as having a coffee in Italy or drinking a beer in Germany. Therefore, the words “medical marijuana” will not have a calling effect among young people in Malawi.
Supporters of legalizing cannabis are winning the debate. And it is better to regulate trade and help the economy of Malawi grow.