Make cannabis offences bailable



Dear Editor,

ALLOW me space in your paper to concur with an article written by a concerned citizen who called for drug policy reforms in Zambia particularly with the Drug Enforcement Commission. His arguments are truly genuine and need to be taken serious by policy formulators and analysts.   There is no way the already congested prisons should be burdened with people whose offences if bail provision was allowed, they would have been reporting to police when called upon. There are inmates who have been on remand for over five years on cannabis related offences who were denied bail or bond. And if a survey is taken, one would discover that maybe 0.1g (just a 2cm cigarette) equivalent to K5, one was denied bail and yet people who steal billions of public funds as revealed in the latest Auditor General Report are left scot free. What manner of injustice is this!   Who is more harm between someone stealing colossal sums of public funds meant to build clinics, schools and buy medicines and someone who is just making him/herself happy? The arrest of Rastafarians and other people who are detained on charges of cannabis use or sell simply justifies many for drug reforms. I would suggest that cannabis related offences should be bondable and bailable so as to reduce congestion in prisons. By the way, the use of cannabis to some is part of their culture and people like Rastafarians it is part of their religion.  Please, make cannabis offences bailable.

Concerned Senior Citizen Kanyama Compound, Lusaka