Researchers probe value  of dagga as medicine

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:05:19 +0000




A RESEARCH group has been established to look into the medicinal benefits of marijuana for health purposes, the Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ) has said.

PSZ president David Banda said it was important to first establish the medical importance of marijuana as a drug before recommending it for use for that purpose.

In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Banda said that a multi-coordinated group will look into the health benefits that will ascertain the safety of marijuana as a drug as the Ministry of Health earlier stated.

“Some of our members are working on that to see how best we can carry out that research and once the research is concluded, the findings will determine whether to go the way the Ministry of Health suggests,” he said.

He said that it had been observed that there was more harm in alcohol than proper use of marijuana as a herb.

Mr Banda stated that the economic value of marijuana could only be realized after establishing exactly what the cannabis contains as they may differ from those from other countries as a result of climate change.

And a University of Zambia psychotropic drug expert James Mwanza has condemned the idea of using marijuana for medicinal use, stating that the substance ‘‘does more harm than good’’.

Dr Mwanza said that there were a lot of drugs on the market which could be used for medicinal use than marijuana whose safety was unknown, adding that ‘‘there must be a very good reason why marijuana should be used now.

“To say that we need to legalize marijuana now is of no use; we must have justification as to why we want it legalized because there are so many drugs that can do the same and their safety is known and has been proven,” he said.

Dr Mwanza said Zambia had no capacity to regulate the use of marijuana once it was legalized because it could be highly addictive and thereby cause more harm than good to a person.


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