History of CBD and Cannabis In – Ethiopia
Cannabis laws are changing rapidly throughout the world, with the change occurring so quickly that it is almost difficult to keep up. This change is the result of quickly evolving political and cultural perspectives, changes in science and ultimately different attitudes when it comes to where law enforcement should concentrate their limited resources.
Few places have the potential to be touched by this wave of legalization like countries in Africa, which have historically been a source of much of the illegal marijuana consumed throughout the world. This includes Ethiopia, the impoverished east African nation, which could see significant economic activity if it were to actually consider legalizing marijuana.
History of Cannabis in Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a long history of marijuana use, with smoking pipes discovered from 1320 CE found to have trace amounts of marijuana. This makes Ethiopia one of the first countries to use cannabis ever recorded.
There are cultural and religious connections between marijuana in Ethiopia as well. The town of Shashamane, with an estimated population of roughly 100,000, was founded with deep Rastafari roots. The religion of Rastafari holds that smoking marijuana is a deeply religious and spiritual act, one designed to bring users closer to God and meant to be used in various rituals. As such, the town has become known for its growth of marijuana for local users.
Despite this, cannabis consumption has been illegal in the country for some time.
Current Legal Status of Cannabis in Ethiopia
Use of marijuana in any form – including recreational, religious or medical – is completely illegal in the country. Unlike many other areas of the world, marijuana use has not been decriminalized. Arrest for marijuana possession can result in a criminal record, fine and/or jail time.
Despite the prohibition against marijuana, some websites note that the drug is largely accepted in the country, and that police are likely to leave you alone as long as you don’t flaunt marijuana use.
In a study by the African Regional Hemp & Cannabis Report, Ethiopia was found to have the potential of generating $9.8 billion if it were to legalize marijuana. This puts Ethiopia 2nd in line for generating the most money if marijuana were to be legalized in all of Africa.
However, at the moment, there are no current active legislative efforts to support its legalization.