By Chapatali Ndau
The government of Malawi todays is expected to move a motion seeking the current seating of parliament to debate the long awaited cannabis bill which seeks to decriminalize the cultivation, propagation , production and processing, storage , distribution and use of cannabis plant (whether C.sativa, C.indica or C.ruderalis) for medicinal, industrial and scientific applications and uses .
This comes as relief to many advocates who have been pushing for the law reforms regulating the cannabis in Malawi.
The Malawi gazette supplement date 25 February 2020 notice has many bills among the bill number 5 which is the Cannabis regulation Bill 2020.
“Any time today leader of the house will table it for the MPS to second,” said Chauncy Mopho Jere one of the Cannabis Activists who has branded the bill as “Malawi Economic Frontier”.
The government of Malawi has been conducting trials for the low – THC industrial hemp.
“The trials conducted by the Government between 2015 and 2018 show that the industrial hemp is indeed a non-narcotic agricultural, industrial and medicinal commodity that is used in tens of thousands of legal and legitimate products ,’ reads in part the supplementary gazette notice of 25th February 2020.
The notice adds that government intends to reform the laws around cannabis and create new economic opportunities through the emergence of properly regulated Medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp industries and value chains.
In jovial mood Jere, said legalization would result in a huge market and great export opportunities for businesses that would pay taxes and help enrich Malawi, adding, “Cannabis could also create legal employment opportunities”.
Malawi is a party to convention on Narcotic drugs 1961 as amended in 1972. Which provides for the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The use of cannabis as medicine dates back to about 10,000 years ago in traditional eastern medicine. Recent studies shows that cannabis has established effects on control of pain management in multiple sclerosis, pain associated with cancer, severe intractable epilepsy and glaucoma. Cannabis use in children with epilepsy and seizure disorders has also been shown to be effective without the deleterious side effects of ant- epileptic medications.
The Cannabis Regulation bill intends is to invoke the rights of a patient to be treated with medicinal cannabis, an alternative to medical treatment, in cases where it has been found to be effective in prevention, treatment and management of a qualifying medical condition and the duty of medical doctor to honour the decision of the patient as well as to inform him of any side effect of the treatment in accordance with the provisions of the law.
A renowned Cannabis Activists in Kenya Gwada Ogot says cannabis has capability to heal over 670 illness. Ogot say out of the plants known in the world it’s on cannabis which produces Cannabinoid which also found in human beings.