By Nsunjo Erica
The government of Rwanda approved the cultivation, processing, and exportation of marijuana/cannabis for medicinal purposes.
“The government of Rwanda is considering the development of a medical cannabis industry in Rwanda, targeting medicinal and therapeutic products. With a focus on export markets and value addition. The government seeks to participate in the economic opportunities that this growing sector offers,” reads the statement.
Rwanda becomes the latest African country to legalize the growing of marijuana for medical purposes, and its government is targeting to grow its export earnings from the global cannabis market valued at $345 billion according to analysts New Frontier Data.
Rwanda’s Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije said that despite the government’s legalization with intentions of profiting from the production and export of marijuana, its use in the country is still prohibited.
“This will not give an excuse for drug abusers and dealers. The law against narcotics is available and it will continue to be enforced. Science has proved that this plant has elements that are often used to treat pain,” Dr. Ngamije said on state-run television Rwanda Broadcasting Agency on Tuesday.
Legalizing marijuana is a tough decision since it could be detrimental to the youth if tough control measures are not enforced to combat its illegal usage, however, Rwanda is targeting a boost in the country’s revenue.
The government of Rwanda says it is looking forward to reaping big from the economic opportunities it presents for medicinal purposes. The government also sees the marijuana industry as a strategic sector that will create jobs and businesses for communities.
What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana
According to experts, medical marijuana involves the usage of the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.
According to the World Health Organization, marijuana is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked, and abused illicit drug and accounts for half of all drug seizures worldwide.
Statistics about how many countries have legalized marijuana are not very clear but researchers say there are 4 countries in the world where both medical and recreational cannabis is 100% legal, and these include Canada, Georgia, South Africa, and Uruguay.
A number of other countries including African countries are tapping into the medical marijuana market, legalizing and relaxing laws on marijuana growing for medical purposes.
Experts say that marijuana is effective on illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and neurological conditions, researchers are still looking more into more illnesses that can be cured by marijuana.
Some of the other countries that have allegedly legalized marijuana include Germany, Argentina, The United States, Australia, Israel, Chile, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Colombia, Belgium, Croatia, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe among others.