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Accepted Paper:

Cannabis and African health systems  
Clemence Rusenga (University of Bristol) Wayne Chinembiri (Technical University of Munich) Kumbirai Mateva (Tobacco Research Board (TRB) - Kutsaga Research) Susan Dimbi (Kutsaga Research Station) Frank Magama (Kutsaga Research Station) Tatenda Brian Madziba (Fribourg University Switzerland)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the role of cannabis in African health care systems

Paper long abstract:

African approaches to health have long been characterised by openness to alternative forms of medicine and access to health. Particularly, most African countries give due regard to traditional medicines while recognising practitioners such as traditional healers. In a context where mainstream health systems are either inadequate or inaccessible to others, local indigenous knowledge systems championed by the poor played a key role in sustaining the use of cannabis as medicine for treating different ailments. On the other hand, the same African states implemented prohibitionist approaches to drug regulation and control, making cannabis an illegal substance. Some voices from within the continent have argued that the response strategy on a continental level ought to inculcate reference to the much-trusted reservoir of traditional medicine knowledge, which they claim has stood the test of time. While cannabis has a special meaning as traditional medicine, its recent legalisation for medicinal and scientific purposes in several African countries emphasises its economic and scientific value in the western sense with traditional meanings and knowledge around cannabis largely side-lined. This paper explores the future of cannabis in the African context, and the implications of the seemingly limited inclusion of the poor in the emerging legal markets. It argues that there are dangers of cultural and economic appropriation of cannabis, a drug historically associated with the poor, for the economic benefit of those with resources to undertake the costly production in the legal cannabis sector.

Panel Econ17
African cannabis futures?
  Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -