In a recent interview, Kenyatta Hill, reggae artist and son of the well-known Joseph Hill of the Jamaican vocal group Culture, calls for marijuana to be legalized all over the world.
Hill discusses the history of cannabis legalization all over the world and insists that the people in Africa and other regions that haven't seen legalization yet, could benefit just the same and they should be free to access it because it is a natural substance.
Researchers are increasingly investigating the potential of cannabis to help heal a myriad of health issues and turning individuals into criminals for accessing this plant is causing unnecessary problems, pain and suffering, and lowering quality of life for many.
Many regions have seen thriving legal or black market cannabis industries for decades now and as Kenyatta Hill points out in this interview, it's proven to be one of the most lucrative industries above many others. It can help to give farmers and other individuals a new path to economic freedom.
Some estimates have suggested that the cannabis market in Africa could reach upwards of $7 billion or more. Thousands of tonnes of marijuana are produced throughout the continent every year even though it is still widely illegal across the region.
In 2017, Lesotho became the first country in Africa to give out medical cannabis licenses for production. Their decision to make that move marked a new shift for the region, and it was expected that it might become a model example for the rest of the continent to follow. For many farmers who are living in poverty, cannabis is a life-saving crop that they can start to cultivate and many families have been engaged in this market even though it might be forbidden for them without the right permission.
Other regions, such as Malawi, Ghana, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe, are also considering making changes to their fight against cannabis. Zimbabwe back in 2018 made the move to become the second region to legalize growing only for medicinal research.
"It America, Canada, England, Jamaica,... Everywhere has it legalized, what's so wrong with Africa? We have the natural sun, we strong soil very fertile soil, so why can't we legalize it here. You legalize it you create jobs,.. so for me marijuana just needs to be legalized." - Kenyatta Hill
So far, there are several countries in Africa that have started exploring the possibility of cannabis legalization and despite their own people still being prohibited from exercising this natural right, many countries in this region are top cannabis producers. Who knows what country might be next to set up their own marijuana market.
Although certain regions might also move forward with legalization that doesn't necessarily mean that police will automatically re-prioritize their policing of the plant, raids can and will still happen, and various individuals will still be restricted from exercising their liberty in a variety of ways even under the "legal" umbrella.