MIKE Mulongoti says Zambia should be realistic and consider legalising marijuana because of its benefits to the economy.
Mulongoti who is People’s Party president, said marijuana should not just be condemned out rightly.Mulongoti who is People’s Party president, said marijuana should not just be condemned out rightly.
“It’s time we embarked on a paradigm shift on marijuana. Anything that gives us money, let us use it to our advantage. Marijuana is something that we can make money out of, like the case is in other countries such as the United States. There is too much money the US is making from cocaine business, why can’t we do the same as a country?” he asked.
Mulongoti said the perception on marijuana around the world had changed.
“We tend to take hard positions of things that others are making good use of. When I was growing up, I used to see old people smoke marijuana and none of them became mad. Marijuana is like alcohol but we want to be hard on marijuana and yet alcohol is more prevalent. Let us consider the benefits and harm. If there is any harm, let us do a research on the harmful aspect. Others are using marijuana for medicinal purposes, so we need to look at all these things. Now in our case, we arrest young people found smoking marijuana and congesting our prisons. Prisons are full of young people,” Mulongoti said.
In April this year, Green Party president Peter Sinkamba said his party would legalise the growing of marijuana so as to earn the country foreign exchange from European countries that have decriminalised its use.
During a briefing in Livingstone at Richland Motel where he launched the party’s manifesto, Sinkamba, who was flanked by national executive members, said a lot of youths and adults in the last 30 years have been arrested for growing marijuana.
“We have done research as the Green Party and we have established that in certain countries in Europe, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium, there is licensed consumption of Chamba (marijuana). So as Green Party, we think that instead of arresting these people, we shall legalise production in high security zones, where security systems shall be so tight, nothing shall go out. The people who are going to work there shall work as cooperatives to produce (marijuana) specifically for exports, so that we are able to generate income for this country,” said Sinkamba.
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