By: Evidence Mhlanga
For many years cannabis has always been in demand and its use has been under scrutiny from the government and other social and health organizations. In Zimbabwe the drugs is abused in many ways,, which often comes with disastrous consequences. People have raped, murdered, involved themselves in all kinds of heinous criminality all under the influence of the drug.
The legalization of the production of cannabis by the Zimbabwean government is likely to lead to a series of shady consequences ranging from the illegal trafficking of the drug through moral decadence to the creation of negative attention from neighboring countries. This all comes at a time when the country is suffering from poor politics and economic constraints.
Given the poor governance synonymous with the country itself, the legalization of marijuana is likely going to fuel the disastrous effects of consuming and trafficking the drug. Growers of the plant and its users would take it into their hands to make quick bucks without first obtaining the appropriate licenses mentioned by Health and Child Welfare Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa. Even if they might want to, individuals from the periphery of the metropolis would not easily be in positions to acquire the licenses. Through legalizing marijuana, the government has opened wider doors for criminal activities.
It is in nature’s book that if a law is passed, then somebody will benefit from it. From this point of view, the legalization of cannabis is benefitting someone in the higher echelons of government. It does not sound right for ordinary citizens to acquire licenses to cultivate the plant while the licenses are likely expensive to obtain. Many people in Zimbabwe are poor and do not have jobs. Many do not even afford the basic necessities of survival like food and shelter. Where are they going to get the money to purchase weed licenses? Many live in the rural periphery where they have no access to the knowledge of the laws that govern them.
The legalization in itself has become a yardstick that can be used to measure how much Zimbabwe as a cultural nation has succumbed to cultural and media imperialism. People do not cultivate what they do not eat or at least sell for profit. The government is showing itself to be made up of individuals suffering from a kind of cultural erosion that has made them deem necessary and decent to appropriate and quicken our nation’s moral decadence. The cultural one might therefore ask; where will the nations morality lie in the next five years? How many are going to suffer?
The government should have lifted the punishment on those who would be found in possession of cannabis rather than outrightly authorizing people to farm the product. Lifting the bans would have encouraged people to still grow the plant but not to the extent that weed culture becomes an integral part of our identity and acceptable urban culture as a nation. The people already in the market of trafficking are now motivated and they will likely acquire falsified documents to make their immoral business as legal as it can be.
The morality and integrity of a nation like ours, a nation which has turned its graduates into hookers, vendors, illegal mineral panners and money launderers, is heavily compromised by the legalization of marijuana. The long time repercussions will include children in schools beginning to abuse the drug and illegally trade it amongst themselves. This is a negative blow on the future of a society which is already rotten in many aspects.
Government must revisit its recent legislation around the production and use of marijuana. As the wise say, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that shapes the child’, hence government has created a problem that is unsolvable given their poor police force and supervision that is corrupt in many ways. It might be a God-given right to cultivate and consume the plant, but this right can easily be revoked if it I unhealthy for society and its neighbors.
By: Evidence Mhlanga