Capitalists are quick to point out the economic benefits of a viable business, its contribution to the GDP in excess of billions of dollars on the continent. Legal Marijuana in Africa shouldn't however be all about its attendant economic gain, but its impact on the social well being of the people. Here are seven reasons Cannabis Market is undesirable in Africa:
1. Outlawing sales despite abuse
By the time Cannabis dealers get unhindered access to the international market and realize its lucrative nature, it will be impossible to outlaw its sales despite the abuse.
2. Impunity from the law
They would have amassed so much USD and become lords and will defend their business through legal and illegal means including the use of lethal weapons.
3. Death of legitimate farming
Because of their lucrative nature, they are likely to kill other legitimate farming including for food and other produce cash crops inclusive.
4. Increase in violence and crime
They’ll increase violence and crime in the society in the same manner as the Columbian/Mexican drug merchants and may even carve out a territory for themselves. Remember El-Chapo?
5. Creation of cartels
These Marijuana dealers will form a network of lobbyists, unions, cartels and will gain international capacity to do anything and the West will likely support them no matter the harm they inflict on our communities.
6. Marijuana must be properly traded
Our youths will now look up to being dealers in Marijuana instead of engaging in productive aspirations.
7. Dealers having control of governments
These dealers will be so powerful that they’ll ultimately seize control of the governments of the state through sponsorships of their cronies and associates for the sole purpose of preserving their trade.
We have the land to cultivate Cocoa, plantain, cashew, rubber, palm oil and other Cash crops and yet we have not fully maximized the God-given natural resources to grow our economies. Then we wake up one morning and Gbam! Marijuana business. In a situation where we have not been able to get our policy implementations correctly, there's need for caution. In an unnatural state like ours, you don't jump at policies, you take a more holistic Sociological interpretation not just the economic bandwagon.
Header Image Credit: KTVL