Against cannabis

Sharlien Tjambari

A group of church leaders from several church denominations spearheaded an anti-cannabis march in Swakopmund on Wednesday. Like those in support of the legalisation of cannabis, this march formed part actions taken nationally to protest against the legalisation of cannabis.

The church leaders were supported by people from various sectors of the coastal communities who are sharing equal concerns over the possible legalisation of cannabis and the consequences.
A march in favour of the legalisation of cannabis took place in Swakopmund during April this year and reflects Namibia’s mixed feelings about the legalisation of cannabis. Whilst the public is divided in two camps, more flavour were added to the brew with the arrest of several coastal residents in all three the coastal towns for the alleged illegal possession of cannabis plants, dried cannabis and cannabis oil. These residents are all trial awaiting.
The march commenced in the DRC-suburb and concluded at the Office of the Governor of Erongo where a petition was taken into acceptance on his behalf by the Special Adviser to the Governor, Adelheid Kandjala. (Note to readers: the march which called for the legalisation of cannabis earlier this year also concluded with a petition handed in at the Governor’s office. That set out points in support of the legalisation of cannabis).
The petitioners on Wednesday demanded a police crack-down countrywide on cannabis growers and those in possession of cannabis products like cannabis oil. They demanded harsher punishment for drug possession and said Namibia is a Christian nation where the legalisation of drugs cannot be considered in line with Biblical principles. The group went further and demanded Biblical education in schools.
“No to Marijuana” displayed one of the petitioners’ placards. At the handing over the petition Pastor Ismael Isak #Gaweseb of the Back to Christ Movement Church said: “As concerned citizens of Namibia we strongly wish to draw your attention to the recent protest that took place on 19 April in favour of legalisation of cannabis and we wish to challenge that demand”.
The group feels that the legalisation of cannabis will make it more accessible and will be more widely misused. “We plead that our government and lawmakers should not be driven by vague opinions of some elements for their own personal gain. And that at the cost of lives of the nation.
Society has become the victim of cannabis. Young children drop out of school due to the use of marijuana and this puts the future of the country at stake. Not only that, many cannabis users have been kicked out of jobs and some are unproductive employees”, remarked #Gaweseb as he was reading the petition on behalf of Sarah Elago the group leader.
The petition states the disadvantages of cannabis and the consequences it has on people who use it. #Gaweseb is of opinion should cannabis be legalised, the future of Namibia is at stake. The country will be turned into a dangerous place. The development of Namibia and the vision 2030 dream will not be realised.
Upon taking reception of the petition, Kandjala said she was very pleased with the way the group conducted themselves. “We understand your concern; this is a democratic Namibia and all citizens are free to express their feelings. The way you displayed your message is very good and did not offend anyone, I will take the petition to the Governor”, she concluded.

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