HARARE – A 33-year-old Epworth resident stunned the Harare Magistrates’ Court on Friday when he claimed that he cannot survive without marijuana (mbanje) because the drug helps in protecting him from goblins and evil spirits
Passmore Zariro, claimed that the 266 grammes of dagga he was found in possession of was for spiritual purposes after he got it from a traditional healer identified as Mafuratidze. He had consulted Mafuratidze after being allegedly attacked by goblins.
Zariro claimed that he occasionally sprinkles the mbanje into his bath water as well as petroleum jelly. In his defence put forward in court he claimed that Mafuratidze had ordered him to use dagga as a shield against attacks from goblins and evil spirits.
“Imwe ndotoita yekukuya ndozora, imwe ndoita yekufukira iri mumbiya hombe, saka kuti ndifambe nhasi uno imbanje iyoyo (I apply some of the dagga on my skin while some I inhale when it’s burning in a plate. I am alive today because of this mbanje,)” said Zariro.
Despite his passionate pleas for mercy, magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa found Zariro guilty of contravening section 157 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
Mrs Mugwagwa noted that Zariro had failed to produce documents that show that he uses mbanje for medicinal purposes and ordered him to pay a US$60 fine or face 10 days behind bars.
Research studies have shown that medical marijuana can be used to treat people that are suffering from cancer, AIDS, and chronic pain.
Medical marijuana is helpful to people who experience chronic non-cancer pain, vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy. The drug can also help with treating symptoms of AIDS patients and muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis.
While utilizing the drug for recreational purposes is illegal in many parts of the world, many countries are beginning to consider varying levels of decriminalization for medical usage.