The Drug Enforcement Commission, DEC has clarified that cannabis cultivation is still illegal in Zambia, unless one has lawful authority to cultivate for medicinal purposes.
In a statement, the commission says it has been receiving numerous queries from members of the public on whether cultivation of cannabis has been legalized in Zambia.
It says this follows a recent statement made by Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kapyongo, on medicinal cannabis to Parliament.
The statement explains that section 9 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Cap 96 of the Laws of Zambia provides that any person who, without lawful authority, cultivates any plant which can be used or consumed as a Narcotic or Psychotropic, or from which a Narcotic Drug or Psychotropic Substance can be extracted, shall be guilty of an offence.
It also says such a person shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not less than five hundred penalty units or to imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to both.
It says the act adds that that no person shall be guilty of the offence under the same section if the plant is cultivated for purposes of medicine or is not on a substantial scale.
DEC says it should be noted that the commission shall continue with its mandate of arresting persons found cultivating cannabis without lawful authority.
The commission has urged members of the public to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act Cap 95 of the Laws of Zambia and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Cap 96 of the Laws of Zambia.