Malawi Decriminalises Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes

March 4th, 2020

Malawi decriminalises cannabis from The Guardian newspaper.
The Guardian, 28 Feb, 2020

Desperate times can call for desperate measures. Malawi has passed a bill decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, almost five years after a motion to legalise industrial hemp was adopted. The country follows in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho, neighbouring south-east African states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, as well as South Africa, where medicinal and recreational use was decriminalised in 2018.

Agriculture offers employment to nearly 80% of Malawi’s population. Tobacco is the country’s major export, and the global decline in its use has impacted the economy. Malawi’s tobacco industry is also marred by exploitation, as international companies such as British American Tobacco have sought cheap labour – including child labour – and low tariffs on raw tobacco for export. Cannabis, which can thrive in dry conditions, is a good fit for Malawi’s climate, which has been impacted by the southern African drought.

- from The Guardian, read the rest here.

In Chichewa, cannabis is locally known as chamba and is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu. Malawian cannabis, particularly the strain known as Malawi Gold, is internationally renowned as one of the finest sativa strains from Africa. According to a World Bank report it is among “the best and finest” marijuana strains in the world, generally regarded as one of the most potent psychoactive pure African sativas. The popularity of this variety has led to such a profound increase in marijuana tourism and economic profit in Malawi that Malawi Gold is listed as one of the three “Big C’s” in Malawian exports: chambo (Tilapia fish), chombe (tea), and chamba (cannabis).

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