Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:33:15 +0000
By Aaron Chiyanzo
STAKEHOLDERS should seriously investigate the merits of the medical marijuana, Zambia Medical Association President Aaron Mujajati has advised. In an interview with the Daily Nation, Dr. Mujajati explained that there is enough evidence to prove that marijuana has numerous medical properties. He pointed out that like any other drug, marijuana has its own side effects but urged Zambian authorities to seriously investigate its merits. “Stakeholders should honestly and candidly discuss the medical use of marijuana; whatever drug that you might think of has its own side effects,” he said. Dr. Mujajati noted that stakeholders have been discussing the issue of marijuana in silence but should now come out in the open and air their views. “Either Government, the civil society, or our association should take the lead in the discussion on marijuana use, a discussion based on evidence so that we know the way forward. We may rush into it and regret later, or we may ignore it and regret later,” he said. Dr. Mujajati further said that all stakeholders should produce the evidence they have on marijuana so that together they can come up with a consensus. Dr. Mujajati also explained that marijuana has active ingredients that can be extracted to make medicinal oils. “When we talk about the medical use of marijuana, we are not saying that people should start smoking it or patients smoking marijuana,” he said, explaining that there are many ways in which marijuana can be constructively used other than smoking. Meanwhile, Green Party president Peter Sinkamba has welcomed ZMA’s call for stakeholders to come up with a conclusive decision on the use of marijuana in Zambia. Mr Sinkamba outlined several other uses of marijuana and advised that relevant stakeholders should seriously investigate its merits. “Marijuana can be used as a food supplement, for making paper, an ingredient in antiretroviral drugs, cosmetics, and many others” he explained.