Zambia Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo has signed a ministerial statement legalizing personal cannabis cultivation for medicinal use, according to a Lusaka Times report. The rules require patients to obtain a license from Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya before commencing any home grows.
Kampyongo indicated that the licenses would be subject to certain conditions and possible fees; however patients could be permitted to sell or distribute cannabis to others registered in the program if permitted by the Health Minister. Any individual caught growing cannabis without permission from the minister would still be subject to prosecution, even if they can make the claim they are growing it for medical purposes.
Under Zambian’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the Home Affairs Minister may regulate illegal drugs via ministerial statement, which can be used to bypass Parliament, according to the report.
Dr. Aaron Mukakati, president of the Zambia Medical Association, had previously announced his support for legalizing medical cannabis.
“Medicinal marijuana works,” he said in a Feb. 10 interview with All Africa. “[I] am not an economist so I can’t speak intelligently on the economic benefits. The risks can be managed, legalize medicinal marijuana.”
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