Group marches against legalisation of marijuana

A church group says legalising marijuana will do more harm than help Namibia in the long run.

26 May 2019 | Local News

Isak Naweseb; Pastor; Legalising it will also put more strain on the police force . . .

Swakopmund - Otis Finck

Turning Point Namibia (TPN) staged a peaceful protest march and handed over a petition against the legalisation of marijuana to Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua in Swakopmund on Wednesday.

Special advisor to the governor Adelheid Kanjala received the petition from pastor Isak Naweseb of the Back to Christ Movement church.

She commended the group for the orderly manner in which they staged the march and promised to pass the petition on to the relevant authorities.

Bishop Emmanuel Hailaulah of the church organised the petition and march.

A similar protest action was staged in Walvis Bay where protestors handed over a petition at the offices of regional councillor Hafeni Ndemula.

TPN called for increased police operations to root out marijuana growers and crops. The group also demand tougher punishment for people found guilty of trading with marijuana, and calls for bible education to be reinstated in schools as a matter of urgency.

TPN members said in the petition they are concerned and were countering the protest action calling for the legalisation of marijuana staged in Windhoek on 19 April.

During that protest the marchers demanded that Act 41 of 1971, which deals with the abuse of dependence-producing substances and rehabilitation centres, be amended in favour of legalising marijuana.

“Prevention is better than cure. We are strongly challenging the demand by a group of ill-informed members before it’s too late, and as concerned citizens. Marijuana is highly addictive and legalising it will result in it becoming more easily accessible as well as lead to it being more widely used and misused.”

Pastor Naweseb added that the detrimental and negative effects brought along by the use of marijuana outweigh its benefits.

“Legalising it will also put more strain on the police force who will have to deal with the after effects and crimes committed by junkies out to feed their habit.”

According to TPN the future of the country and the small population of the country is at stake, should marijuana be legalised.

“Namibia will be turned into a dangerous place not because of those who use marijuana and other drugs, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

The group, which runs a rehabilitation centre for juvenile inmates, said most of the persons they work with are former marijuana users.

TPN also pointed out that the number of inmates at the Kwasizabantu rehabilitation centre in neighbouring South Africa have doubled since the country legalised the use of marijuana.

The group pleaded with government and law makers not to be misled by some elements driven by self-gain and enrichment at the cost of the whole nation.

“Many marijuana users have lost their employment and are unproductive citizens due to their addiction. Youngsters dropped out of school due to this plague,” the petition reads.

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