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Government to review marijuana laws

Bame Piet
FILE PIC: Marijuana plant

The government is considering review of legislation on marijuana to facilitate research on medical marijuana and possible gains for the country.

This was said by Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Machana Shamukuni in response to a question by MP for Selebi Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse.

The Phikwe  West legislator had wanted to know whether or not the country is interested in medical marijuana research and whether there is commercial value in the research.

The Assistant Minister said that the previous research was focused on more than 500 extracts including 100 extracts called cannabinoids.

“Available research findings suggest that marijuana can be beneficial in the following ways; slows and stops cancer cells from spreading; eases pain of multiple sclerosis; it can be used to treat glaucoma,” the minister said.

However, he cautioned that research has found that there are some negative effects of using marijuana which include mental health problems and respiratory diseases.

Shamukuni said that the estimated Global Market for marijuana stood at USD 12 million in 2017 and estimated to reach USD41 million in 2024.

Legalisation and commercialisation of industrial hemp- a strain of the Cannabis Sativa, plant was one of the issues that dominated the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) campaign for 2019 general elections.

The party indicated that it was going to embark on a project of hemp plantations which it said was going to produce 100,000 jobs within a short period of time.

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