Written by Angela Prusa.
Founder of CHAN and local advocate for legalization. Co-Founder of Roots Herbal, a brand that creates cannabis products to support People in their healing journeys.
To start off this first blog I want to highlight the hypocrisy currently happening in our Country where our government as well as the Police force are allowing corporations like Spar, Dis-Chem and local Pharmacies within Namibia to sell CBD products for oral consumption while arrests of ordinary Namibian Citizens for Cannabis continue at an alarming rate.
We could argue that People are being arrested for THC containing Cannabis and that these shops sell non psychoactive CBD, but since June 2020 CBD was placed into Schedule 5 right next to THC Cannabis and any form thereof by the Medicines Regulatory Council of Namibia.
When laws are made those laws need to be enforced upon everyone without any exceptions. But as is so prevalent in our Country and has become such a norm, is that there is one law for corporation and government and another for ordinary citizens. A perfect breeding ground for corruption and abuse of the law.
The one topic I think does not get enough discussion by pro cannabis enthusiast is the harms of the plant, so let’s discuss the Harms of Cannabis.
For sure Cannabis has harms to it and hence regulation is needed to make sure we create safe usage around the plant that involves age restrictions and identification of those vulnerable to develop a dependence and create support for those who might be negatively affected by the use of this plant.
Transparency to make sure the quality is good and there are no unsafe chemicals that might harm the user of cannabis is reduction of possible harm.
The current illegal model does not allow for Harm reduction, it on the contrary creates further harm.
As with all drugs that are illegal, they need to be smuggled across borders and maximum potency for minimum product needs to be achieved and hence we end up with detrimental chemicals in our cannabis that can harm the user.
I can confidently say that as someone who in the last 4 years has assisted over a thousand people with cannabis as a therapeutic alternative to detrimental pharmacy drugs that the benefits of cannabis and it’s amazing potential by far outweigh its harms.
As someone who has had the experience of the Police and Drug squad enter my home and having supported many People who have been arrested for this plant, and working to assist drug users and those affected by trauma I can confidently say that in my professional opinion and experience that he current model of prohibition and criminalizing cannabis users is far more damaging and detrimental to our communities than the use of cannabis itself.
I would also like to specify that there is no difference in cannabis use for therapeutic purposes or relaxation purposes or adult use.
It is all the same plant; the only difference is the intention and even those who are not sick who use cannabis still benefit from its use due to every single Human having within its Body an Endocannabinoid system.
The Government needs to speed up this process of legalization of cannabis.
The argument of harms has long been disproven by a huge literature of scientific evidence available for everyone to read up on should they wish to do so.
The whole world is moving towards legalizing Cannabis and utilizing this versatile plant for its benefits.
Namibia needs to get on board.
We need to repel this old racist apartheid law and bring in a new law that will give cannabis users the same rights as cigarette smokers and alcohol drinkers to exercise their rights as consenting adults to eat, drink and smoke what they choose to even if it harms them as long as they are not harming those around them.