Is it possible to find “weed” in Africa? Is it legal to use it? Believe it or not, these are two very common questions tourists type on the Google Search line, before planning a trip to Africa. Much more than any information about animals, safaris, national parks foreigners want to know if it is possible to find and use marijuana, in a legal way, over there. Which is not, most of time!
We must never forget that Africa is mainly an islamic continent and Islam bans any substance that clouds your brain: so, no wine, no liqueurs, no drugs are allowed. Marijuana is still considered a drug, which means it is banned from many nations. Even though now you know it can be used as a medical support – once its toxic element has been eliminated – it is not accepted in the culture of many African states. But something is changing, too.
Marijuana as a legal medicine in Zambia
Zambia was surprisingly one of the first African nations to talk about the possibility of using “legal weed”. This Country has the third largest number of weed users in the world, though it also has the most severe laws against drugs. Recently, in 2019, the government decided to legalize weed’s derivatives if used only for medical purpose. This law, anyway, was opposed and hindered many times. In March 2021, it was finally approved the bill that makes it legal to cultivate weed for medical purposes, under the control of the government. The new law has not been put into practice so far, because of some hard opponents still fighting against it. Anyway, it is quite easy to find marijuana in Zambia – here it is called mbanje, chwang or dobo – but, unless the legal problem is not solved, it remains at your risk.
Legal marijuana in South Africa
The “love story ” of South Africa with Daggah (this is how you call weed, over there) dates back to centuries ago. The plant was introduced by the Arabs in the 17th century. They got it from their trades with India. Already in 1922, the local government had allowed its use for medical or religious purposes, so this is nothing new. But during the rebellious years 1968-1980, the spread of drugs caused troubles with weed in this nation as well.
Today, new laws allow the free and legal cultivation of marijuana all over the nation’s territory and the free use of its products, even as a light drug. But you must use it only for yourself, and only inside your house or property. It is strictly forbidden to use, sell or buy weed outside, in the street, or in unauthorized shops. Besides the general state laws, South Africa has many different local laws due to the different way of ruling in each Province. So be well informed according to the laws of the region you shall visit, before planning any purchase or use of weed derivatives, over there.
Other African nations to legalize weed
Zambia and South Africa are the most important nations where to find legal weed. But there are many new African territories that are slowly allowing the use of this plant for medical purposes: Morocco joined the list in May 2021, together with Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Rwanda.