GREEN Party president Peter Sinkamba says his party will legalise the cultivation of marijuana in Zambia so that the drug contributes to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
But the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has said it would be irresponsible to encourage drug abuse.
Mr Sinkamba says it is an “open secret” that some commercial farmers in Zambia are allegedly cultivating the herb and making a lot of profit from exporting it.
Speaking at a press conference in Livingstone on Saturday, Mr Sinkamba said there are a lot of people that are in prisons countrywide because of cultivating marijuana, but that this should not be so.
He said if his party forms Government, it will repeal the anti-narcotic laws in the country that promote the prohibition of drugs like marijuana.
He said the marijuana would be grown in restricted high security zones.
“We are going to ensure that the marijuana is exported to countries where the use is regulated and legalised,” Mr Sinkamba said.
But DEC public relations officer Theresa Katongo said that young people are already having serious problems associated with alcohol abuse and that there are several things that they can do to contribute to the country’s GDP.
“The law is clear on this and Mr Sinkamba should be the first person to condemn this because of the serious consequences associated with marijuana,” she said.
Mr Sinkamba also said his party would revive agriculture by promoting involvement of young people in the sector.
He said the party would empower youths with loans through a credit facility and would promote agriculture.
“We are going to scrap the Food Reserve Agency and will instead promote cooperative unions as the best way of maize marketing so that the farmers can be empowered more,” Mr Sinkamba said.
He said each citizen would be given 50 hectares of land when they attain the age of 16.