The world is a wacky place and right now there is all sorts of nonsense going on. But for a small country, Uganda takes the cake. They have managed to pull together the warring Democrats and Republicans to be upset about their LGBT+ policy. And if you look a bit deeper, they are just a hot mess!
You would think a country which has a sort of legalized weed and encourages medical marijuana to be normal, just look at Italy, Canada, Mexico, a host of Scandinavian countries and more. But nope, Uganda blazes their own trail and leave people singed behind. What can you expect from a close ally of Putin?
Currently, the country is embroiled in a huge LGBT+ scandal. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”. Uganda is filled with allegations of arbitrary killings of opposition supporters, disenfranchisement and voter intimidation, bribery, shutting down social media websites, and lack of transparency and independence in the Electoral Commission marred the elections, which fell short of international standards.
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On Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, Uganda scored 26 on a scale from 0 (“highly corrupt”) to 100 (“very clean”). When ranked by score, Uganda ranked 142nd among the 180 countries in the Index, where the country ranked last is perceived to have the most corrupt public sector.
So why legalize marijuana? Over a period of 8 years, the government’s Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) seized 11 pounds of cannabis and officially arrested some 482 people for possession …which equals less than a gram per person. Harsh for such a small amount.
In addition, the 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report highlighted that there were only two detection dogs for conducting drug searches and no drug test kits or X-ray machines to detect drugs, along with the fact that the local police were both corrupt and inadequately trained.
In May, Uganda’s Constitutional Court made a decision that reportedly nullified the nation’s entire Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act. This made it semi not illegal, but not fully legal…putting it in a no man’s land.
And money comes to play for key players. The export of cannabis for medicinal purposes was approved by the Ugandan Ministry of Health in January 2020, which stipulated among other things that all cannabis exporters had to have a minimum capital of US $5,000. Prior to this, however, Industrial Hemp Uganda, a private company had already been exporting medicinal cannabis to Germany and China. So, legal when it generates revenue for key players.
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If you plan to join the millions of Americans and Canadian traveling for the summer, you might leave Uganda off of your places to chill.