South African country Zambia on Monday has decided to allow the cultivation of cannabis for export for medicinal purposes.
The cultivation or possession of cannabis for whatever reasons was prohibited in Zambia and subject to a jail sentence.
“I wish to confirm that the cabinet… gave its approval, in principle,… for the cultivation, processing and exportation of cannabis for economic and medicinal purposes,” said spokesperson Dora Siliya in a statement.
Siliya added that the health ministry would provide overall leadership as well as coordinate the issuance of licenses.
Cannabis for medicinal purposes has been authorized in around 30 countries.
The small kingdom of Lesotho was the first African nation to allow medicinal cannabis in 2017.
South Africa followed suit a year later but went further and approved the consumption of marijuana for personal use by adults.
Moreover, Zambian President Edgar Lungu wants the U.S. ambassador to leave the country after the diplomat criticized the African state for sentencing a gay couple to 15 years behind bars for having a consensual relationship.
“We have complained officially to the American government, and we are waiting for their response because we don’t want such people in our midst,” Lungu said, “We want him gone.”
The president of Zambia wants US ambassador to step down and leave the country for defending a gay couple who were sentenced to 15 years in jail for loving each other.
Ambassador Daniel Foote said he was “personally horrified” by the harsh sentence passed down on the two gay men, Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba, for a relationship which hurt absolutely no one.
He also accused the authorities of having double standards when it comes to pursuing other crimes.
He noted, “Government officials can steal millions of public dollars without prosecution.”
The comments provoked a furious reaction from President Edgar Lungu, who has officially complained to the Trump administration.
“We don’t want such people in our midst. We want him gone,” he told the state-owned TV on Sunday.
Same-sex relationships are outlawed in Zambia, where British colonial-era laws on homosexuality still apply.