Zimbabwe joins Lesotho to legalize of Marijuana for Medical use
There is growing legitimacy of Marijuana for medical use and scientific purposes in Africa.
Zimbabwe has made it legal to produce marijuana popularly referred to as “ganja” for medicinal and scientific uses. The decision is seen as a step away from the country’s traditionally tough stance on drugs.
The Southern African country joins Lesotho, the tiny nation which last year became the first in Africa to issue a license for medical marijuana.
Zimbabwe has been considering legalising the drug for a number of months, and will now become one of the few countries able to turn it into a source of revenue.
It is now possible to request a license to grow marijuana, according to a recently issued government notice that was released by the country’s health minister. Both individuals and companies can apply.
Previously, production and possession of the drug could bring up to 12 years in prison, although recreational use remains illegal.
The move is a step away from Zimbabwe’s traditionally tough stance on drugs.
In the past, members of parliament in the largely conservative country who had advocated for legalisation were often mocked.
Malawi and Ghana are reportedly exploring ways they can legalise Marijuana but much of Africa still criminalizes its production and use.
A South African court last year ruled that private use of marijuana was legal but the government appealed against the ruling at the constitutional court.
Africa comes second after the Americas in terms of production and consumption of cannabis, according to the United Nations’ 2017 World Drug Report.