Indian hemp also known as Cannabis is prohibited in Malawi, but remains a popular drug and is produced for domestic use and export. In Chichewa, cannabis is locally known as ‘chamba’.
On 8th of January 2019, police in Dedza nabbed two men for smuggling Malawi hemp to Mozambique. The victims are revealed as Mafosha Banda aged 35 of Kasungu district and Fungai Barai aged 32 a Mozambican resident.
Dedza Police Deputy Spokesperson, Constable Cassim Manda confirmed of the arrest. Manda said that the two men were arrested by police officers who were on patrol at Sukwasukwa area, Dedza.
‘Motor vehicle registration number NU676 which was parked along the dusty road was where these two men parked the hemp. As the officers were searching the car, they came across a bag where the hemp was,’ said Manda.
The two victims will be charged for possession of cannabis which is against section 4 sub section (a) as read with regulation 19 sub section 1 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Legal issues of cannabis usage
According to the World Bank report, growing, using, selling or possessing cannabis is a criminal offence specifically in Malawi. Although cannabis is illegal in Malawi, it is figured to be the largest unofficial export.
How is it cultivated?
Cannabis is mainly cultivated in the remote parts of central and northern region like Mzimba, Nkhotakota and Mzuzu. These district are well known for producing the best cannabis.
Most growers cultivate small, out of the way fields up on remote mountain hills, hidden in bushes, or intercropped with other field crops.