President Hakainde Hichilema has disclosed that the government is currently undertaking a consultative process on legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Speaking during the commemoration of the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking under the theme “Fight Drug abuse through strong families and healthy lifestyle, the President said steps being undertaken are aimed at minimizing and mitigating the negative effects of legalizing marijuana.
The Head of state said that once legalized, the government will ensure proper management of the hemp to prevent possible abuse by the youth.
And President Hichilema said the government will in the 2023 National Budget allocate funds to go towards the construction of rehabilitation centers countrywide to curb the increasing cases of drug abuse as they support institutions that are mandated to fight the vice.
Speaking earlier, United Nations Resident Coordinator Beatrice Mutali said according to the UN Population size estimate, there are about 26,800 people who inject drugs across Zambia who are at risk of contracting diseases including HIV.
Meanwhile, Drug Enforcement Commission Director-General Mary Chirwa has projected an increase in cases of drug abuse which will require concerted efforts to address.