Debate on whether Chamba (Indian Hemp) should be legalized or not resurfaced Monday in the National Assembly with Ntchisi North Member of Parliament arguing that Chamba fetches more per acre than trees.
According to the MP, Boniface Kadzamira (Malawi Congress Party) apart from paper, “hemp can be used to produce fibre, fabric, soap, lighting oil, medicines, food, oil and proteins for both humans and animals.”
But Minister of Agriculture and Water Development, who was not present in parliament at the time, told The Nation that he “he had no comment.”
He insisted that “what Kadzamira said was his opinion” and that “government does not take opinions as policies.”
This is the second time the issue has come up in the Malawi parliament. In April 2000, Jon Manduwa, then deputy minister of agriculture had made a similar proposal.
Manduwa had argued that Malawi would benefit a great deal economically if Chamba could be legalized.
Commentators say that Malawi’s variety of Chamba is one of the best in the world.
Despite growing and being found in possession of Chamba is illegal in Malawi, hardly weeks pass without truckloads of the same being impounded by police.
The .botanical.com posits that hemp has several uses including medicine which can be used for easing pain and inducing sleep or for soothing influence in nervous disorders.
In 2013 Rastafarian community held peaceful demonstration to ask the government to consider legalising the growing and use of the illicit drug, which is being illegally grown across the country.