There is no moral justification to arrest anyone found in possession or smoking marijuana-Sinkamba

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Green party aspirant candidate peter sinkamba accompanied by his wife found casting his vote at Rokana polling station in Nkana constituency. Pictures by Sylvia mweetwa
Green party Leader Peter Sinkamba

ABOUT 5000 Zambians are languishing in prisons across the country for either possessing or smoking cannabis which offence is a victimless offence, the Green Party has revealed.

Green Party president Peter Sinkamba said there was no moral justification to arrest anyone found in possession or smoking marijuana as it is a ‘‘victimless offence’’ which in most cases was used as a form of medicine or culture norm.

Mr Sinkamba observed that offences of smoking or being in possession of cannabis account for over 5,000 inmates in the country’s prisons.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Sinkamba said that it was sad and unfortunate that 19 Rastafarians had been arrested for a petty offence, stating that there was need for a better mechanism such as fines because marijuana cases were only congesting prison facilities.

He explained that the smoking of marijuana was a victimless offence as there was no individual who had complained that they had been injured owing to one’s use of the substance. Mr Sinkamba said that he was of the view that prisons were meant to house serious crime offenders unlike cases of marijuana which needed to be treated like traffic offences such as drunken driving or loitering.

“It is really sad and unfortunate that the 19 Rastafarians have been arrested. As Green Party we do not think that marijuana ought to be a substance that can land one in jail. This is what we call a victimless crime where there is no complainant to say I was injured because of the action of the other party. ‘‘We do not think marijuana users especially those who use it for medicinal purposes or culture should be arrested, no. This should be treated like traffic offences such as drunk driving or loitering depending with the prescribed quantity, they are supposed to pay a fine and go.

“Marijuana cases are filling up our already congested prisons; out of about 18,000 prisoners 5,000 are marijuana related,” he said.

He said that in the civilised society there was no need to make the use of marijuana a crime, stating that in Southern Province women had used the substance for centuries as a form of tradition.

Mr Sinkamba said that he was recently in Choma district and offered his solidarity to a farmer who had been taken to court for the cultivation of the substance.

He said that he would take keen interest in the matter of the Rastafarians and offer help in any possible way such as lawyers to defend them.

The 19 Rastafarians were arrested after being found in possession of cannabis while celebrating the birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie, whom the Rastafarian community holds in high regard.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Marijuana use can be used to treat and prevent the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision

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  2. Marijuana users claim the drug helps relieve pain and suppress nausea — the two main reasons it’s often used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy.

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  3. Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

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  4. Recent research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients.

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  5. On this one, I support Mr Sinkamba to a certain extent. I really need to be educated as to whether alcohol drinking in Zambia is better than smoking weed! How many accidents have been caused by Rastas after a smoking session?

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  6. It’s really funny, the ones that slapped us with these anti-Marijuana laws have themselves legalized it and are enjoying it! If alcohol can be legal, what about the herb?

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  7. Greenwell Sinkamba and all those supporting him, you are just a bunch of drug addicts trying to justify your addiction. You are all a threat to human well-being

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  8. Proponents of legalization of marijuana You need to speak out in public and not hidden behind aliases. Support Peter. A good number of people are in support of the greens policies but are afraid to show it in public. Stand for what you believe in.

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  9. I must agree with Mr Sinkamba, arrests should only be made for those trafficking in hard core drugs such as cocaine and heroine. DEC must be dissolved and merged into ZP and let ACC handle the money laundering operations. DEC serves no purpose since the Chiluba days but to surpress the people. The Late HEMCS had pledged to remove DEC please we need DEC out of the picture police are competent enough to handle matters.

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  10. Law is shallower than morality. Law justifies evil withiot reason. Apartheid in south africa was law, slavely and the trade in human being was supported by law and now a sinless act of smoking herb is a crime in law.i know time will come when humanity will realise that our action towards herb users was a crime agaist humanity just like we think of slavely.
    The herb was made from creation by the almight God and for the use of man. Read from the holly bible psalms 104 vs 14.

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    • Also Genesis 1:29 : And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth

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  11. It is as inane as not having those disgusting stickers on your car! I have been repeatedly branded a criminal and made to sign admission of guilt for not having a reflective sticker on a car that has inbuilt reflectors. There are so many things we inherited from the colonialists that the former colonial masters themselves are petrified to even be reminded they had used!!! Enough said! Now marijuana: This herb that is now being widely and consistently legalized (first under the pretext of medical use) everywhere is waiting for the slow-thinking African politicians to come around to. With the reflector story, good luck waiting for the turnaround!

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  12. What is more annoying is to call them traffickers and charge them as such when infact they are just abusers or smokers. Surely the law must differentiate a trafficker from a smoker. Same goes for thieves who still money being mistakenly called money launderers when the actual launderers are left free to continue their laundering or trafficking.
    MPs these are some of the things you should be correcting.

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  13. Further DEC is made up of frustrated Lozis that have focused on arresting Easterners and Northerners as some sort of distorted payback over their failed Barotse Land Independence. Sad but true..

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  14. I don’t condone it myself. I am sure taking this stuff is the reason UPND Leaders and their followers are unstable! Just a pack of stoned people walking around under the influence. They can’t see they are out of the Norm.

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  15. Please Peter, give us a break !!!! We cant have a sitting President drunk with Jameson and the potential in coming president high on Marijuana. God help us all.

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  16. Herb is the healing of the nation! Legalize it!

    Babylon leff mi poeple, de Israelite alone! Black people are the Israelis mentioned inna di bible

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  17. This is the informtation age. Everything that can be known about herb has been researched by scientists and sociologists. Information is available to those who sincerely wish to know. The most common argument is whether alcohol is better. Every easter, christmas, independence, new year, and other public holidays we worry about road accidents. I have never heard anyone saying the drivers will be to high this christmas and will cause accidents. They worry about drunk drivers. Wife beating, alcohol. This not to say that everyone who drinks alcohol is guilty of these acts. Many can handle their alcohol and know their limits within which they are in control. Most arguments against marihuana come from mental slavery. Do your research. Why guess when you can google.

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  18. Sinkamba’s outward appearance does not strike you as a dagga smoker. But heyi looks decieve.

    I know one fellow of Peter’s kind who DEC has been trailing for many many years for the many green houses he has developed at his farm where the ‘green leaf’ is suspected to be in production yet untraceable during the many raids DEC has undertaken at these production facillities.

    The greatest mystery for DEC has been the fact that this fellow is at most times the soberest of character. The only time he is out of character and literally dizzy is when he is tending his innocent plants in the green houses whilst dressed in a white dust coat.

    Awe sure!

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  19. My helper can hardly lift his legs as he attempts to walk if deprived of dagga but can lift a full grown bull with his hands over the head when high!

    Awe dagga is not to be intertained. I say ban it for good.

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  20. Start selling the leaf and impose tax, and you put that tax money to building of schools, hosiptals, roads, water development projects and helping out the street kids. It’s a billion dollars business don’t miss out Zambia has enough land.

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