History of CBD and Cannabis: Central African Republic
Bordered by Chad to the north and the Congo to the south, the Central African Republic (CAR) is defined by a low index of human development. Rated as the worst country to be young, the CAR has undergone extensive civil war, poverty, and devastating cycles of disease after gaining independence.
Not much is known about cannabis use before French colonial rule stated in the late nineteenth century. However, it’s estimated to be widespread as French rulers immediately instituted policy punishing slaves for cannabis consumption. It’s believed that cannabis was used for both religious and medical purposes among the indigenous population.
After the cessation of French rule, the Central African Republic has had to define its own variegated stance towards cannabis. Although the country has sought to throw off the chains of imperialism, cannabis has continued to be illegal through several Democratically appointed governments.
Cannabis, CBD, and the Central African Republic
Currently, cannabis is considered illegal yet use is very widespread among young populations and traditional healers. It’s believed that cannabis was officially made illegal under the Central African Empire administration (1976 – 1979). Under the new law, the cultivation, possession, and sale of cannabis was made completely illegal.
Even after the dissolution of the Central African Empire, the cannabis laws established during this time period have continued to dominate subsequent administrations.
During the time that cannabis law was codified, the United States and other Western nations were pushing forward extremely restrictive policy. Western states largely defined cannabis as a pure societal source of degradation with no medical benefit, even though a great deal of research at the time demonstrated convincing positive effects.
The Central African Republic’s current cannabis policy is modeled directly after United States restrictions established during the 1930s, as well as the seventies and eighties. Illicit marijuana is defined as any plant derived from the cannabis genus, which includes species of hemp that have no psychoactive or addictive properties.
Even with these regulations, the government has a difficult time enforcing policy on residents, agriculturalists, and drug traffickers. Locally, personal use is tolerated by law enforcement. Additionally, the government lacks the resources to target entrenched criminal organizations that have had a profound impact on life in the country.
It’s unlikely that the government will fully legalize or decriminalize cannabis possession and sale soon. Legalizing cannabis would require an established government that could properly vet all cannabis growers, sellers, and users. Additionally, the Central African Republic lacks solid departmental figures who could get legal cannabis sales off the ground.