In the beginning, “Colonialism” was fairly straightforward. Really bad.
Later, Uganda was “blessed” with the latest scientific knowledge about something called “marijuana.”
For a little perspective, in 2007, an article in a Ugandan newspaper New Vision called for banning cannabis.
“Health experts from the African Union ( AU ) have asked member states to ban the growing of cannabis, popularly known as marijuana.”
They are worried that the cultivation of the drug, locally known as njaga/i, was affecting agricultural production and posing serious food shortage on the continent.
(Uganda’s principal export is coffee!)
“It was also observed that cannabis users were at a higher risk of contracting HIV, among other sexually transmitted infections.
The concerns are contained in a 12-page document passed at the African Union conference of ministers for drug control and crime prevention...
"African leaders should acknowledge the use of cannabis as a continental problem...
“Speaking to The New Vision recently, Dr. David Basangwa, who was one of the Ugandan delegates at the conference, said: "Some people are planting more acres of cannabis and less of food, because they think they will get more money. This leads to food insecurity, and that is why we feel that production of the drug should be stopped across nations."
On HIV, Basangwa, a drug control expert and senior psychiatrist at Butabika Hospital, explained that some people were injecting the drug into their skin, using unsterilised equipment.
Injecting marijuana?? Don’t the seeds clog their syringes?
Marijuana is a green, brown or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant known as Cannabis Sativa. It is the most commonly used illicit drug, considered a soft drug. It is smoked or chewed for euphoric effect.
Smoking or chewing Marijuana is the main cause of mental disorders which are soaring at an alarmingly high rate in the country.
“Smoking marijuana is not only criminal but also contributes to commission of other crimes.
According to the head of anti-narcotics unit at CID headquarters, Mr Micheal Were: "A big number of crimes result from the influence of marijuana."
According to Were, marijuana gives Dutch courage to people who inhale it.
Body builders commonly known as Kanyamas are notorious for smoking marijuana because it gives them courage to way lay people in the city, particularly in the morning and evening.
Crimes that arise out of marijuana influence include waylaying women at night, raping them and defiling young girls.
The drug also contributes to mental breakdown. Some people have run mad due to over inhaling marijuana.”
Please understand that it is not my intention to mock the Ugandans. On the contrary. Why do officials in Uganda sound so much like their counterparts in the most developed countries? Because they quite naturally believe that the “best” science, medicine, law enforcement techniques, etc, come from the US and the UK. Also, the UN promotes the same ideology.
If we had bombed Uganda and the other countries in Africa we could not have done more harm – or killed more people – than we are with our lies.
And now? Last year, New Vision reported, Govt reviewing law to allow production of medicinal cannabis
“In March last year, an Israeli company, Together Pharma was cleared by the Uganda Investments Authority (UIA) to grow medical cannabis (marijuana) for export in Kasese district.”
How many lives might have been saved, how much suffering might have been avoided, if Uganda had been encouraged to develop a medical cannabis program instead of listening to prohibitionist propaganda?