By Buba Gagigo
Bankole Yao Jojo Ahadzie alias ‘Banky’, independent aspirant for the December 4 presidential polls believes The Gambia should legalise the use of Marijuana also called cannabis, weed or grass, like other African countries.
“Me, Banky. I believe in legalising Marijuana. Legalising it in The Gambia is a national thing. It has to go through the national assembly.”
The Rasta-turned-politician cited the United Nations for reference, as the basis for his argument.
“Because the UN has decriminalised Cannabis, the WHO is calling for studies on the medical benefits of cannabis. In The Gambia, if it is not illegal for us to buy a bottle of beer, and [you]will not be arrested. But they will arrest you because you are smoking weed [Marijuana]. If we are going to allow alcohol, going to allow cigarette, going to allow prostitution, then leave people to smoke [Marijuana].”
The Rasta-turned-politician gave examples of African countries that are economically benefiting from the sale of cannabis.
“Countries like Uganda, places like Morocco are making millions from selling cannabis. So for these and other reasons, me Banky personally, I believe we should legalise marijuana.”
Ahadzie made these remarks at the maiden press conference he organised earlier on Friday at a local hotel in Senegambia.
Banky is aspiring to be an independent candidate on 4th December presidential election; although, he is not yet formally endorsed by the Independent Electoral Commission [IEC]. But his candidature is expected to be approved by the commission before the polls. Currently, Banky works at the Medical Research Council, The Gambia.
Meanwhile, in December 2020, the United Nations website reported that 27 of its 53 member states voted to recognise the medicinal and therapeutic potential of Marijuana; but 25 voted against it.
Following that development several member states across the world including Africans, embraced the substance. Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, eSwatini, Zambia, Uganda, and Rwanda are among the African nations which legalised the use of marijuana, according to research.