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Is it legal to use Medical Cannabis in Africa?

The status of Medical Cannabis in African countries is a bit confusing. Some countries have officially allowed the use of Medical Cannabis in the country but on the other hand, there are a few countries that have labeled Cannabis as a gateway drug and enforced harsh penalties for the use or possession of Cannabis. But, we’re here to talk about the countries in Africa where you could consume Medical Cannabis without facing any sanctions. 

African Countries That Allows the Use of Medical Cannabis 

There are just a handful of African countries that have relaxed the laws on Cannabis use. Currently, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are the only countries in the region that have legalized the use of Medical Cannabis. 

South Africa is the only country in Africa that has legalized the use of both, recreational and medical Cannabis in the country. Since the legalization act in 2018, the country has seen a rise in the use of medical Cannabis. Since a large number of researches on medical Cannabis show that it contains certain properties that are beneficial for the human body and can be used for the wellness of the person, people are lining up to get their hands on medical Cannabis.

Moreover, Zambia and Zimbabwe have also legalized the use of medical Cannabis in the country and any person with a proper prescription could purchase medical Cannabis in the country.  Earlier, it was illegal to use Cannabis for medical uses in these countries. However, the use of recreational or hemp-based Cannabis, which includes CBD, is still prohibited in the country. 

Any person found with the possession of Cannabis could face prosecution in federal court. However, the use of Cannabis is quite common in African countries and since the regulatory authorities are struggling in the country, there are hardly any charges pressed against people that are found with the possession of recreational Cannabis.

Why is Cannabis Illegal in African Countries? 

Cannabis has evolved significantly over the years and many developed countries like Canada, Uruguay, America, and England have eased their rules on using Cannabis. Additionally, a large number of studies have been conducted on Cannabis plants which have concluded that it is a complex compound that not only treats physical illness but also an excellent remedy for treating mental illnesses. And with the help of these studies, many countries around the globe and preparing to legalize the use of Cannabis to treat a variety of illnesses. 

Unfortunately in Africa, Cannabis is still recognized as a ‘gateway drug that is only used to get high. And because of that, the policymakers have always labeled Cannabis as the problem maker drug. 

Will African Countries Legalize the Use of Cannabis? 

The current situation suggests that the future of recreational Cannabis is uncertain in a majority of African countries. But for medical Cannabis, the future seems bright since many countries in Africa are starting to look closely at their policies regarding medical Cannabis. 

Malawi is one of the recent countries in Africa to legalize the use of medical Cannabis in the country. Similarly, following their footsteps, Zimbabwe has also legalized the use of Cannabis for medical reasons. 

But, the most asked question is that will other African countries also relax their policies on Medical Cannabis? There’s isn’t one simple answer. Due to the fact that the use of Cannabis is rising at an alarming rate in African countries, it is highly unlikely that they will legalize the use of recreational Cannabis anytime in the near future. However, like Lesotho, other African countries could allow certain companies to grow and export Cannabis to support their economy. 

Lesotho, one of the weakest economies in Africa, has licensed contractors to harvest and export Cannabis to the European Union. This act alone is bringing millions of dollars to the country and it played a decent job in stabilizing the economy of the country. 

In conclusion, African countries are not very keen on legalizing the use of recreational Cannabis but for medical Cannabis, the majority of African countries are expected to re-write their drug laws and legalize medical Cannabis in their countries. 

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