LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)—This week, Parliament adopted a motion to legalise the cultivation and use of the industrial Indian Hemp in the country. Ntchisi North Constituency Lawmaker Boniface Kadzamira moved the motion.
The development comes barely a year after the lawmaker in question introduced the matter in the August for consideration arguing that the crop fetches more per acre and has potential to bring foreign currency in the country.
Moving the motion in parliament, Kadzamira called for enactment of policy and legislation so as to recognize Industrial hemp to be recognized as an agricultural cash crop for industrial purposes.
“Industrial hemp has been grown in some countries since the 1770s and it has been proven a viable cash crop. Malawi needs this legislation to start enjoying the benefits that accrue from the growing and use of industrial hemp.
“What I am proposing is an industrial hemp not a conventional hemp which has several health hazards than the latter. An industrial hemp does not have much health effects on people’s lives and its cultivation is easy as it does not require fertilizer and pestcides for its growth.
“Since 1916 many studies have shown positive side of the crop. This is the reason most developed nations including America, Canada, United Kingdom and even here in Africa, in Egypt have legalised its growth. What we need actually as a nation is put mechanism of laws for one to grow it the way tobacco is being done,” said Kadzamira.
However, some legislators emphasized the need for government to exercise caution on the matter fearing that some misguided individuals could take advantage of the law to promote the growing of the illicit Indian hemp-Marijuana.
“Before implementation of crop’ cultivation, government needs to come up with measures ensuring that it isn’t confused with the illicit Indian hem,” said Felix Jumbe, Malawi Congress Party (MCP)’s lawmaker for Salima Central Constituency.
This is the second time the issue has been brought into the Malawi’s national assembly. In April 2000, John Manduwa, the then deputy minister of agriculture made a similar proposal arguing that Malawi would benefit economically if Chamba could be legalised.
Later in 2013 Rastafarian community held a peaceful demonstration to ask government to consider legalising the growing and use of the illicit drug which is being illegally grown across the country.
According to botanic.com, hemp has several uses including medicine which are used for easing pain and inducing sleep or soothing influence in nervous disorders