History of CBD and Cannabis: Burkina Faso
Bordered by Mali to the north and Niger to the east, Burkina Faso has maintained a contentious relationship towards marijuana cultivation, use, and production ever since the beginning of the modern era.
In the 1890s, a series of different British, French, and German colonial officers attempted to annex the land of Burkina Faso. Over the course of decades, these powers made treaties with locals and then would engage in military conflict against them. Eventually, the land became a formalized French protectorate in the late nineteenth century.
During this time, cannabis use was not tolerated by colonial powers. Residents would frequently receive harsh punishment from French colonists if they were caught using or distributing cannabis.
Nowadays, much of the policy concerning marijuana use is a result of colonial influence, local attitudes, and international policy determined in the seventies.
Cannabis, CBD, and Burkina Faso
Between the years of 2009 and 2011, international reports noted that cannabis seizures and arrests more than doubled. Whether this is a result of increasing enforcement or illicit activity is unclear. Nonetheless, this increased activity resulted in global attention on the state of Burkina Faso.
Among locals, cannabis is frequently used in healing ceremonies, rituals, and to reduce the pain felt by women in labor.
Since the cessation of colonial rule, Burkina Faso has undergone extensive political disruption, insurrection, and violence due to powers competing for control. By 1987, the incumbent president Blaise Compaore found his elections continually protested by local groups. However, he remained the head of state until being ousted by youth groups in 2014.
Cannabis Law Enforcement
Burkina Faso’s variegated political history has resulted in a situation of little to no enforcement and high rates of drug crime. Entrenched political powers have limited the government’s ability to target cannabis cultivation and consumption along the more rural areas of the country.
The entire region is primarily tropical that is marked by a four month monsoon and a hot, dry summer. There is only one time of year that cannabis growth is supported in the country, leading to very brief bursts of high cannabis cultivation across the country.
As the years have gone by, it’s believed that more and more cannabis is sourced through international drug traffickers that receive high pay outs through urban Burkina Faso residents.
Burkina Faso: Culturally Conservative Cannabis Attitudes
The country has a robust history of varying religious traditions. While the state maintains a traditionally conservative attitude towards cannabis use, locals have integrated marijuana into their traditional religious practices.
It’s unclear whether or not the state will ever align with the majority of its residents of cannabis policy. Though decriminalization may be possible, legalization would require extensive cooperation between different state departments.