The New Times (Kigali)

9 June 2010

Rwanda: Govt Seeks to Legalize Marijuana for Medical Use

Kigali — The Ministry of Health has forwarded a bill to parliament that seeks to legalize the use of marijuana and other narcotics to be used strictly for medical purpose.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, presenting the draft law governing drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors in Rwanda, attributed the bill to protection of the population.

"The objective of this bill is to contribute to the protection of the population while ensuring that drugs and psychotropic substances are exclusively available for scientific and medical purposes," Sezibera told the Parliament.

The bill responds to the demands of conventions of United Nations in relation with the fight against illegal drug use and requests every country to put in place her own laws accordingly.

According to the Sezibera, the bill also intends to ensure the enforcement of international conventions in matters of control of narcotics and psychotropic substances.

"Medically, usage of such substances help in relieving the pain and problems related to psychic troubles," said Sezibera.

The bill also seeks to comply with the demands of the Ministry of Health that require that such products be used only in health institutions as pain relievers, especially in treating the problems related to the behavioural problems.

The minister promised MPs that: "The medicine will thus be available and correctly utilised."

Members of Parliament unanimously endorsed the bill without any objection.

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