Ganja Farmer! Chilima’s pro-marijuana campaign gains momentum

Saulos Chilima

… Activists, economists, rastas back SKC on cannabis

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima’s pro-marijuana stance is gaining momentum as a cross-spectrum of people endorse the vice president on cannabis.

Speaking at a UTM (formally United Tranformation Movement) political rally yesterday at Nkhotakota LEA School grounds, Chilima said the Malawi should consider legalising some types of marijuana.

He said the plant could boost the country’s economic growth if exported.

“Countries like the US, Canada, South Africa are now legalising marijuana for medical purposes. In these countries, both the farming and the use of this kind of marijuana are controlled. As it has the potential of aiding our ailing economy, UTM will look into the possibility of opening the country to marijuana” said Chilima.

He clarified that he was only a proponent of researching into how Malawi can benefit from this kind of marijuana and that he was not suggesting people to start growing and smoking it, saying he did not want to be misquoted by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who he referred to as ena. He said DPP has a tendency of misrepresenting what he says to score a political point.

“As there are different types of marijuana and for fears of being misquoted here, as UTM we will commission out studies to establish whether marijuana could be a viable exporting product for the country. I have not said start smoking it” he added.

Meanwhile, his suggestion for Malawi to explore growing and exporting marijuana is gaining public momentum.

“Its a good idea, I think you have a point let us follow Canada and South Africa they regalize malijuana what about Malawi. We have a good grades of Ganja lets not criticise it. But my vote is for Chakwera” commented Pempho Maganizo on a post we published yesterday.

Merchant Jnr Maclean said Chamba, as marijuana is locally called,  is a “good replacement of tobacco”.

However, there were others who rounded up Chilima for “hoodwinking” Malawians as research on medical marijuana is already underway.

“Him as VP and the DPP already passed the law to legalise marijuana last year for industrial purposes. And the hemp is in its final stages of trials to determine the recommendable type suitable for our Nation to be put on large scale production at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe. Today he comes as a clever boy to confuse Nkhotakota smokers and Farmers that He will legalise it. Mr President are you not making redundant statements?” posed Clement Chafulumira on Facebook.

Recently, South Africa legalised the use cannabis and the growing of marijuana, known in Malawi as chamba, for adult private consumption following a decision by the country’s court.

South Africa’s government’s had opposed its legalisation, arguing the drug was “harmful” to people’s the health.

Three South African cannabis users who had faced prosecution for using bemp brought the case, saying the ban “intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres”.

South Africa joins Zimbabwe which in April became the second country in Africa, after Lesotho, to legalise the use of marijuana for medical use.

Coca-Cola is one of the corporate titans that announced it was eyeing cannabis-infused drinks (CBD) after noting that the space for cannabidiol-based drinks was “evolving quickly”.