Government has assured Malawians that the marijuana which the Peter Mutharika administration wants to legalize has no threat to people’s health.
In September, Mutharika through Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Allan Chiyembekeza, endorsed cultivation of hemp for trial purposes.
Chiyembekeza differentiated the industrial grown hemp from those locally grown saying industrial hemp has no threat to lives.
“The industrial hemp does not contain psychoactive chemical elements that affect people when smoked even though it’s from the same family crop,” said Chiyembekeza.
If the trial proves to be positive, the Malawi economy which has dwindled since Mutharika came into power is expected to be boosted.
According to Chiyembekeza, the gold-plant will also improve the country’s National Export Strategy.
Among the companies working on trial of the marijuana plant at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe is Invegro Hemp Power Malawi.
However, government has failed to come out clear on whether public smoking of marijuana will still remain illegal. The idea to legalize industrial hemp was proposed at the last sitting of Parliament by Malawi Congress Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Ntchisi North, Boniface Kadzamira.
When he introduced the issue in Parliament, Kadzamira said an acre of the crop can produce more paper than wood pulp.