Petition for Legalisation and Decriminalization of Marijuana (Canabis sativa) in Sierra Leone

    This shall be the beginning of the end!
    On behalf of the body of persons, undersigned below, who are desirous and genuinely triggered-off to get off the ground as an Advancing Force, I hereby write, in pursuit of our cause of Achievement of Pronouncement and Endorsement of the Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana/Canabis sativa, for the lifting of the prohibition against its possession, consumption and commercialisation, by the powers that be, in our beloved country Sierra Leone!

    Assiduously, members of the Vanguard, as campaigners and petitioners, are quite apprised of its legalization in many States of America and other countries in the world like Canada, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, South Africa, Ghana, Czech Republic, Uraguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Russia, Mexico, Estonia, South Africa, et al. and are enthused by the justification and liberalism behind the decision of such states.
    Why not Sierra Leone?!

    In fact, marijuana is an international natural herb with high efficacy as medical curative for dangerous illnesses as tuberculosis, glaucoma, and terminal ones like asthma. Its chemical content (tetra hydro cannabinol) is of nutritional value as appetizer. Its spiritual benefit in Rastafarian worship as sacrament, is quite immense. Likewise, the advantages of enrichment of user’s creative intelligence, intellectual faculty and recreational potential, are tremendous.
    It had factorised the global reverence, celebrity status and indelible memories of idols, icons, paragons like Late Emperor Haile Sellassie, Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey and many others. Heads of States, executive echelons of the ruling classes in many countries; academic elites like doctors, lawyers, lecturers; world class musicians, top-notch writers, ace craftsmen and show-stealing, crowd-pulling, heart-thrilling cultural performing-artists, are using it.

    Against all odds, the Ganja farmers/Marijuana growers and peddlers, are being impelled into its production and marketing, to beat the dire financial impediments, indigence and other monetary disadvantages, in making life worth living. They have to resist the evil temptation to go into criminal activities or occupation, to earn income. The youth had to become marijuana peddlers to beat the battle against the bad influences of contemporaries and peer-groups, that could lead them to go into burglary, robbery, shoplifting, pickpocketing, other street crimes and domestic violence, to manage to survive; to avoid becoming the dregs of society.

    However, inhumanly and at times unjustifiably, the police brutality unleashed on the youth and adults in ghettoes and other out-of-the-way places are panicking and terrifying! The arrest and detention (without trial in some cases) are routinely followed by tortuous maltreatments and hard-labour in prison.

    Pursuant to the Constitution of Sierra Leone under the provision of Chp. 111, which covers “The Recognition and Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedom of the Individual” it is stated in Sec. 17, Sub-section 1, paragraph (i) that, “No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty, except as may be authorised by law, in the case of a person who is, or who is reasonably suspected to be of unsound mind, addicted to drug or alcohol, or a vagrant, for the purpose of his care or treatment, or for the protection of the community.”
    Realistically, for most youth, smoking of marijuana is not an addiction per se, but a need to beat psycho-societal pressure, to escape miseries of hardship. Worse still, locking such a person in prison is not the way to take care of him. Amelioration of living condition can be attained by provision of job opportunities and creation of life-emancipating prospects for them.
    Torture and other inhumanities in prison are no good treatments for someone who is reasonably suspected to be addicted to smoking marijuana. They are no therapies, remedies or cures.
    Most awful is the misconception of the dope-user as having unsound mind. The polemics against such fallacy is intuitive. Marijuana confers high power of human-understanding on consumers. It reinforces a user’s sense of vigilance. It puts the user’s mind on guard, to do critical analysis and assessment, moment to moment, of his real life situation, of people’s temperament, and their mind set. It enables the Rastaman to see and feel the prejudice and discrimination against them when they go in search of a job, or when in public transport, in the street.

    Sad to lament that it is the evil-spirit of the haters, the adversaries, the critics harbouring hostility in mind against the victim (a marijuana smoker), or other members of his own very family, which lead to their collusion to spread destructive stratagems about him as being insane, a lunatic or having an unsound mind. Being caught in the den of iniquities, unable to surmount the psychological restraint and barriers, to acquire immunity to hatred and jealousy, and shove his life into prospective propulsive everlasting fate of accomplishment in Sierra Leone, he ends up taking his own life, bitterly! Such has been the demise of quite a lot in our beloved country Sierra Leone.

    I would like to bring your attention to the many significant uses of Marijuana, the world`s most Valuable and versatile natural resource:
    The Stems can be used for Fabric, Fuel, Paper and commercial use. The Fiber strands are spun into thread which is either made into rope or woven into durable high quality textile and made into clothing, fine linens and fabrics of all textures. The fragments of dried stalk that remains are hurds- 77% cellulose- that can be made to tree-free, dioxin-free; nontoxic paints and sealants; industrial fabrication materials. It is the best source of plant pulp for biomass fuel to make gas, charcoal, methanol and electricity. Marijuana has recognized medical values for easing pain, relieving stress, treating illnesses like Asthma, Glaucoma, nausea etc. It is also smoked or eaten for many therapeutic religious and recreational purposes. In the plant kingdom, Marijuana contain the highest source of essential fatty acids and complete digestible proteins. The roots of the Hemp anchor and invigorate the soil to control erosion and mudslides.

    Accordingly, with case being well established above, one has to dispel all doubt about the legitimacy (with such quantity and quality of signatories) and cogency hereof Petition, for the Attainment of the Pronouncement and Endorsement of the Legalization and Decriminalization of the possession, consumption and commercialization of Marijuana/Cannabis sativa, by the powers that be!
    There is glimmer of hope!

    Thus, Sir, your due consideration and expedited expedient legal, bureaucratic, parliamentary action, process, ratification are solemnly solicited!
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