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Monday 22 April 2019
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Nampol against SA ‘dagga’ laws

South Africa’s decision to legalise the private use of cannabis for recreational purposes could have hordes of ramifications for Namibia.
The legalisation of “weed” in South Africa has raised concerns among the Namibian Police as well as Namibian MP’s who believe South African cannabis dealers will try and find a more lucrative market within Namibia because markets function on the economic model of supply and demand which in turn determines price.
Although cannabis in the country is said to be illegal for both recreational and medical use, it is no secret that cannabis in Namibia continues to top the list of illicit drugs in the country.
With cannabis amongst the most used illegal drug that is smuggled into Namibia from other Southern African countries, Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga expressed deep concerns around the move.
Ndeitunga feels there is no justification as to why marijuana should be legalized.
Ndeitunga said people who use marijuana are not able to control themselves and end up carrying out unlawful acts.
“Smoking weed is not right because when you consume it, it does not put one in control of themselves, when high on cannabis one might commit acts that they would not usually commit” he said.
He further highlighted that the consumption on cannabis can affect an individual’s health and that any responsible citizen should therefore be concerned about their wellbeing by staying clear of cannabis.
“It should be noted that we have placed certain measures in place against those types of drugs.
We will do all that we can to make sure that cannabis dealers do not come and find a market here in Namibia.
We are fighting against these kinds drug dealers and we will continue to strengthening these measures” he stated.
Lesotho was the first country on the continent to grant a licence to a South African firm to cultivate medical marijuana in 2017, Zimbabwe followed suit earlier this year.
The World Health Organisation has highlighted that cannabis remains to be the most widely used illicit substance in the African Region with the highest prevalence and increase in use being reported in West and Central Africa with rates between 5.2 percent and 13.5 percent.
In 2013 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in its World Drug Report, revealed that between the year 2012 to 2013 there was a total distribution of illicit cannabis seized in Namibia amounting up to 2 254 903 kg’s of market value N$ 1 764 709.
A 2017 Report of the International Narcotics Control Board highlighted that the illicit production of, trafficking in and abuse of cannabis is a major drug of concern in Africa which have proved to be a persistent challenge.
While cannabis herb is illicitly cultivated in all sub regions, illicit cannabis resin production remains limited to a few countries in North Africa. The report further revealed that cannabis still remains the primary drug for which drug users seek treatment in Africa.
Available data suggests that the annual prevalence rate of use of cannabis among Africans aged 15 to 64 continues to be high and is estimated to be 7.5 percent which is nearly double the global average.
West and Central Africa are the sub regions with the highest prevalence rates, estimated at 12.4 per cent.
However, the true extent of drug abuse in Africa is unclear, as prevalence data are mostly outdated or unrepresentative, or are non-existent. This applies to drug types other than cannabis as well.
Cannabis still remains the primary drug for which drug users seek treatment in Africa.
Available data suggest that the annual prevalence rate of use of cannabis among Africans aged 15 to 64 continues to be high and is estimated to be 7.5 per cent, nearly double the global average.
However, the true extent of drug abuse in Africa is unclear, as prevalence data are mostly outdated or unrepresentative, or are non-existent.




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