BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 8 January, 2001, 15:11 GMT
Cameroon to import cannabis
Cannabis
The drug is grown illegally in north-west Cameroon
By Omer Songwe in Bamenda, north-west Cameroon

Cameroon, a major cannabis grower, is to allow people suffering from HIV/Aids and cancer to use the drug as a form of pain relief.


Cannabis is already being grown in Cameroon - though illegally

Graduate Dzeka Edwin Fon
But the drug is to be imported, in large quantities, from Canada.

Local growers are very angry about the government's decision.

The move comes as a shock to many people, especially unemployed young.

Dzeka Edwin Fon, a young graduate who is spearheading a group fighting for the legalisation of cannabis cultivation in north-west province, says the growing of the plant could be a lucrative business for unemployed young people.

"Cannabis is already being grown in Cameroon - though illegally - so it is unwise for the government to import it," he says.

He suggests that officials at the Health Ministry should supervise the cultivation of the drug in Cameroon - and so control the amount grown and provided to the hospitals.

Crime fears

Many people in the north-west of the country know and accept that cannabis is grown there. It is already being used in the production of a hair lotion popular with Cameroonian women.

According to one doctor there is no special medicinal trace element in the Canadian-grown plant that is not found in the Cameroonian variety.

He said that if the government adopted controlled cultivation it could easily supply all provincial and divisional hospitals in the country.

But law enforcement officers believe the cultivation of cannabis promotes uncontrolled consumption, which leads to an increase in crime.

Last year, hundreds of young people were arrested and jailed in the north-west when police and gendarmes destroyed their cannabis farms.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

17 Jul 00 | Americas
Medical users get marijuana ID cards
15 Aug 00 | UK
The dope on drugs trials
09 Oct 00 | UK Politics
Cannabis: What if it were legal?
11 Sep 00 | Africa
Malawi Rastas' marijuana struggle
Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories