Cannabis users petitioning government at Oshakati

06 Sep 2019 16:10pm
OSHAKATI, 06 SEP (NAMPA) – Members of the Ganja Users of Namibia (GUN) on Friday staged another demonstration at Oshakati in the Oshana Region asking the government to legalise the use of cannabis, locally known as ‘epangwe’.
The group of more than 20 cannabis users from the regions of Oshana, Khomas, Hardap, Kavango East, Erongo, Kavango West and ||Kharas marched to the office of Oshana Governor Elia Irimari, and handed over their five-page petition there.
In the petition they once demanded, amongst others, the immediate repeal of Act 41 of 1971 or for it to be amended by omitting or deleting cannabis from the schedule under the heading, Prohibited Dependency Producing Drugs.
“We call on Parliament to establish a commission that controls and regulates the cannabis industry in Namibia for the benefit of the estimated 200 000 Namibians who use cannabis,” said the group’s spokesperson, Borro Ndungula, in presenting their petition.
According to Ndungula, the law is outdated, colonial, discriminatory and a violation of the GUN members’ fundamental rights to freedom and privacy.
He charged that using cannabis is harmless and demanded that the police stop arresting its users and for cannabis-related cases against suspected offenders to be ceased, “as they are not a threat to national security and society at large”.
“We appeal to Parliament to repeal or amend this Act,” Ndungula said before appealing to the Office of the President to treat it as a matter of national urgency by engaging in an open dialogue to modernise the Act for the benefit of all Namibians.
The group gave the National Assembly 21 days to tell them whether the Act is in violation of the Namibian Constituency or not.
Receiving the petition on behalf of Irimari, one of the senior officers in the office, Moses Matatias said it would be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice without delay.
He called on the protesters to continue upholding the Constitution and protecting the laws of Namibia.