Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

Cannabis in Namibia is illegal for recreational and medicinal uses, but cannabis, just like mandrax (methaqualone), are the most popular illicit drugs in the country.[1] Cannabis also has a history of use as a traditional medicine[2][3][4][5] by local indigenous communities. Per the 2011 UNODC report, the incidence of annual cannabis usage in Namibia was 3.9% as of 2000.[6]


The term dagga or dakha ("grass") is common for cannabis, with a cannabis cigarette termed a zol or joint.[7]

Laws and policies[edit]

The "Abuse of Dependence-Producing Substances and Rehabilitation Centres Act of 1971" is the law currently in force in Namibia, supplemented by the "Combatting of the Abuse of Drugs Bill" of 2006 which increased penalties to prison sentences of between 20 and 40 years (alternative to incarceration includes a fine of between N$300,000 and N$500,000), even for first-time drug offense, regardless of drug type or quantity. At the time of adoption of that bill, protests were raised against the proposal, particularly by Namibia's artistic and creative communities, and followers of the Rastafarian faith.[8][9]

Possible cannabis law reforms[edit]

Following a proposal filed in June 2020 by the non-profits Ganja Users of Namibia (GUN) and Rastafari United Front (RUF),[10] a governmental task force was established to consult on the eventual regulation and controlled use of cannabis in Namibia,[11][12] including a public consultation process open from 12 to 22 November 2020 convened by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.[13]

The Cannabis and Hemp Association of Namibia (CHAN)[14] was constituted, with support from the Dagga Couple of neighbouring South Africa,[15] to further represent voices[11] of the communities of people who use or grow cannabis and hemp in the country.[16]

In September 2021, GUN and RUF filed a lawsuit against the Ministers of justice, and of health and social services, as well as other country officials, asking "for their own rights to use dagga, to challenge the constitutionality of all laws prohibiting dagga in Namibia."[17][18]


  1. ^ Stephen C. Adkisson; Osei G. Kofi; Tony Figueira (1995). Children in Namibia: Reaching Towards the Rights of Every Child. Social Sciences Division, University of Namibia.
  2. ^ Balogun, FO; Ashafa, AOT (2019). "A Review of Plants Used in South African Traditional Medicine for the Management and Treatment of Hypertension". Planta Medica. 85 (4): 312–334. doi:10.1055/a-0801-8771. PMID 30477041.
  3. ^ Kaya, Hassan O (2017). "Biodiversity, Traditional Medicine and Public Health Care in Eastern and Southern Africa". Botswana Journal of African Studies. 31 (1, Suppl. 1).
  4. ^ Wambebe, Charles, ed. (2018). African Indigenous Medical Knowledge and Human Health. ISBN 9781032095806.
  5. ^ Stafford, Gary I.; Pedersen, Mikael E.; Van Staden, Johannes; Jäger, Anna K. (2008-10-28). "Review on plants with CNS-effects used in traditional South African medicine against mental diseases". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 119 (3): 513–537. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.08.010. ISSN 0378-8741. PMID 18775771.
  6. ^ World Drug Report 2011. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Cannabis stats are from Chapter Consumption: Annual prevalence of Cannabis, p. 217. "Sources: Annual Reports Questionnaires, Academic Researches, Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICAD), Government Reports, European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports (INCSR)."
  7. ^ "Marijuana problem in northern Namibia". Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  8. ^ "Africa: Proposed Draconian Drug Law in Namibia Runs Into Intense Opposition". Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  9. ^ "Public gets on high horse over new drug law". The Namibian. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  10. ^ Office of the Speaker, Parliament of Namibia (2020). Petition by the Ganja Users of Namibia for the Legalization of the use of marijuana in Namibia (PDF). Windhoek: Parliament of Namibia.
  11. ^ a b "Namibia sets tup task force to consider cannabis legalisation". Medical Brief. 2020-11-18. Archived from the original on 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  12. ^ Namibian, The. "Dagga legalisation talks back on the table". The Namibian. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  13. ^ "Namibia Cannabis Legalization | Cannabiz Africa | Marijuana Reform". Cannabiz Africa. 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  14. ^ "Cannabis and Hemp Association of Namibia". CHAN. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  15. ^ Namibian, The. "SA pro-cannabis activists to visit Namibia". The Namibian. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  16. ^ "Cannabis in Namibia: an Interview with Angela Prusa – Canna Tech Global". Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  17. ^ Namibian, The. "Lawsuit filed to legalise dagga". The Namibian. Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  18. ^ "Lawsuit to legalise cannabis filed in Namibia". Medical Brief. 2021-09-08. Retrieved 2021-11-04.