The continent of Africa is a complicated and intricate tapestry when it comes to cannabis reform.
In some African countries, like Zambia for instance, cannabis is highly illegal and many people go to prison for it. In South Africa, marijuana for medical purposes has leaped forward, and even personal use has made some headway.
Now, it looks like Zimbabwe is considering legalizing the cultivation and use of medical marijuana.
An application has been made to the Government of Zimbabwe, by an as-yet unnamed Canadian company, to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.
Zimbabwe’s Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister, Dr. Obert Mpofu, stated at an annual general meeting on June 28th of the National Chamber of Commerce, that a Canadian conglomerate is looking to partner with the government to produce medical cannabis.
“We have received numerous inquiries from investors who want to participate and one of them is a big international company that wants to be involved in the production of cannabis,” said Dr. Mpofu. “I laughed and thought they were joking when I receive the inquiry but they are serious. This seems to be big business.”
Currently, in Zimbabwe, individuals convicted of possession of marijuana can receive up to 12 years in prison, so if this effort if successful, it would go a long way to dampen the fires of prohibition.
Dr. Mpofu added that the government is taking this application seriously.
“This company is from Canada and it’s one of the biggest conglomerates in that country, and they are producing cannabis for medical purposes under strict conditions,” said Mpofu. “I don’t see anything wrong and I think if we legalize [cannabis] we will benefit medically because it is used for painkillers such as Morphine. South Africa has done that.”
There has been no word on next steps within the application process, but more information will no doubt be provided in the coming days ahead.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett