With news of the gathering pace of legalisation in South Africa, the former Kingdom of Swaziland, Eswatini, cannabis activists are also renewing efforts to change the status quo in the country.
On a recent visit to the Kingdom, Jules was invited to meet the executive of the Eswatini Cannabis Association in Mbabane. This group of over 250 members is one of thee most diverse groups of interested parties we know of. From rural farmers to land owners and elected government officials, the association covers a lot of ground and interests. The Eswatini cannabis laws were written in 1922 and are predictably archaic. Every time the word cannabis is used, so is the word poison, so with that in mind – there looks like a long road ahead to change perceptions. However, on the bright side, the government is now admitting they’ve heard about the medical properties of the plant but medicine to some and poison to others seems to be deeply flawed and in need of attention.
The narrative in the meeting ran along the lines of government medical licenses and the guideline for license applications looked like a cut and paste of the South African (now defunct) Medicines Control Council guidelines from 2017.
For the majority of the estimated 100,000 farmers in the ancient valleys of Swaziland, they look to remain criminalised at first glance. In fact, the daily paper had a screaming headline concerning a whole family that had spent the weekend in holding cells for possession of Dagga. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Fields Of Green For ALL was able to leave multiple copies of our Desired Outcomes document at the meeting for the executive to digest, because as we all know, there is more to cannabis legalisation than some medical weed crumbs in the form of a government license. Once again in another Southern African country, the plant’s oppressors for 100 years are now trying to get themselves into the business of cannabis. What was once poison in 1922 is now considered medicine nearly 100 years later.
If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll know that this simply doesn’t sit well with us here at FGA.
We have been invited back to the Kingdom for a full blown presentation to the association and government in September. We look forward to assisting the Eswatini process wherever we can.