As the debate on the medicinal usage of marijuana makes way to public discourse, a Liberian scientist based in the United States says turning the herb into medicinal purpose will enhance regulation by the Liberian government and makes some economic gains.
“I do support to be totally legalized and regulated the commercial cultivation of marijuana, so as to avoid its abuse as a substance, but turned it into medicinal product so that it contribute to the country’s economy and medical science,” says Dr. Chris Dougbeh Nyan, a Liberian scientist.
Nyan’s statement of support is buttressed by the confession made by Momolu Dorley, a Liberian journalist and diplomat, that he is suffering from perennial genetic and nerve ailments and has already had two spinal surgeries and several other minor surgeries.
“I am suffering from chronic undiagnosed pain in my lower extremities, and feel stiffness in my left pelvic and hip. In fact, I am unable to freely move my left leg,” Dorley said of his medical condition in a recent mobile phone interview with the Daily Observer.
“It was in 2016, while in Germany, my pain went through the roof, and I began scouring the internet. There, I came across a certain medicine which, when I googled, gave me the active components of the medicine, and one of those components was hemp. After that, I learned that hemp, cannabis and marijuana were the same family.”
Two days later, when he began using the medication, his pain was relieved and Dorley has since used it as a treatment for his medical condition. Now, he too has added his voice to the many Liberians calling for the use of marijuana for medical purpose, which Dorley says will also create economic benefits for the country.
In support of that, Dr. Nyan added, “a wealth of evidence has demonstrated the medical value of marijuana as therapy for people with very severe seizure; medical evidence also suggests that it controls nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, and it relieves pain as well as reduces inflammation.”
Mr. Dorley is not the only in the fight. A lady in the suburb of Monrovia, who spoke condition of anonymity, informed this newspaper that her 23 years old son (not named), had suffered some ailments, but his prescription contains refined marijuana content. “This is how my son has survived up to present, my brother,” she said in a rather sorrowful tone.
Marijuana, otherwise known as cannabis, has many aliases in Liberia and it is very notorious for many wrong things. Elsewhere in the world, investors are pouring in millions of dollars to develop the sector as they also eye West African countries as a possible investment destination.
Statistics show that the world marijuana market is expected to reach US$146.4 billion by the end of 2025. Dr. Nyan, a biomedical research scientist who is famous for inventing the Multiplex Infections Diagnostic Test, says Marijuana is a multi-billion dollar global business that the Liberian government should venture into by licensing specific growers under strict regulation for both recreational and medicinal use.
“This could be economically beneficial to our government. This could generate employment and financial gain for the government through taxes and licensing fees,” he said. “In this respect, I propose that a study is conducted by a Commission comprising of experts from the Ministry of Health, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), the ministries of Commerce and Justice.”
Dr. Nyan: “This could be economically beneficial to our government. This could generate employment and financial gain for the government through taxes and licensing fees,” he said.
“In this respect, I propose that a study is conducted by a Commission comprising of experts from the Ministry of Health, the LDEA, the ministries of Commerce and Justice,” Nyan said, adding that such a study should lead to the formulation of “Medical and Commercial Marijuana Regulations (or the Marijuana Act),” which will lay the framework for the industrialization of the plant for medical purpose. Now, he too has added his voice to the many Liberians calling for the use of marijuana for medical purpose, which he says will also create economic benefits for the country.
“The government can follow suit as it is being done elsewhere by licensing marijuana and other drugs. This will make drug available through doctor or legal sale agents. The government will also gain revenue by taxing drugs and putting those funds to not only stimulating economic growth, but rehabilitating drugs users,” Dr. Nyan said.