Mhen, Drug Fight call for research on hemp
The Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) and Drug Fight Malawi have called for proper research on a proposal Member of Parliament for Ntchisi North Constituency Boniface Kadzamira made to legalise the sale of Indian hemp (Chamba or Marijuana) to boost the country’s economy.
Mhen Executive Director Martha Kwataine and Executive Director for Drug Fight Malawi Nelson Zakeyo made the appeal in separate interviews on Wednesday.
“We have to research whether the benefits will be more than the negatives. Malawians are people that are not good at being responsible for their lives. The other thing is how will Malawians differentiate between the ordinary Indian hemp and the other one which is being advocated for?” said Kwataine.
She said people must not only look at the economic gains of the weed but should also put the lives of Malawians first.
Kwataine also said although legalising Indian hemp can help to generate resources for the country, there is need to look into the cost of such a decision.
She said already there are a lot of problems which the country is facing in the health sector, including mental illnesses.
“We may end up creating an environment where people are free to smoke Chamba and becoming mentally ill,” explained Kwataine.
Commenting on the issue, Zakeyo said it would be very difficult to know which Indian hemp has lesser chemicals.
“Let them do a research and give us evidence of the kind of Indian hemp that is being advocated for because as far as we are concerned, we just know one type of the weed. Indian hemp is very harmful to human health more especially to the youth,” he said.
Zakeyo said legalising Indian hemp can encourage youths to smoke.
He also said unless a research is conducted and it is recommended by Chitedze Research Station, his organisation does not buy the idea.
Kadzamira said in Parliament that legalising chamba is a viable alternative to boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
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