The Rwandan government has officially approved the cultivation and exportation of marijuana.
The controversial decision was made on Monday, October 12, in a cabinet meeting that approved guidelines for cultivation and exportation.
This decision was made as hopes of reaping the economic profits from the sale of the products. Research from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates marijuana to be valued at $47.7 million per square kilometre.
While the Rwandan nationals can grow it legally, its recreational and medical uses remain illegal. Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije, said that this decision doesn’t give drug abusers an excuse to use the product freely and that the law will be upheld.
This will not give an excuse for drug abusers and dealers. The law against narcotics is available and it will continue to be enforcedDr Daniel Ngamije
Use of the drug attracts a jail term of two years in the country while drug dealers could face up to 20 years.
Louis Gitinywa, a constitutional lawyer, says that this move will cause confusion and might require an amendment of the Penal Code as well as public sensitization.
Basically, the government is authorising the production of illegal drugs. The Penal Code should have been amended before the government came up with this decision to allow the mass production of cannabis for export. The law must be clear because it is creating confusionLouis Gitinywa