Swaziland’s Cannabis Grandmas Smothered Under Legalization

CANNABIS CULTURE –  Rural grandmas in Swaziland risk arrest to grow, harvest, and trade cannabis because they have no other means with which to feed the orphans left behind by the raging HIV-Aids crisis.

In 2012, rural grandmothers in poverty-stricken Swaziland earned global goodwill and sympathy when the New York Times famously presented them as: ‘Grandmas grow gold in Swaziland.’ 

Today, cannabis cultivation has been legalized in South Africa – the country that surrounds the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland and is the largest market for the famous ‘Swazi Gold’ strain of cannabis. Legalization in South Africa, contrasted with criminalization in Swaziland is throwing Swaziland’s enterprising grandmas into a precarious situation, they say.

`We were better off before neighboring South Africa legalized cannabis,’ moans Gogo Anele Dlamini, 60, an unregistered one hectare of cannabis outside Manzini, Swaziland’s largest city. Gogo means ‘grandma’ in Swaziland’s native language.

Legalization in the key market of neighboring South Africa is whipping cannabis grandmas like Gogo Dlamini into a two-fold way, they say.

‘First commercial growers in neighboring South Africa have snapped up our customers. Then legalization in South Africa is motivating our own Swaziland authorities to clamp down on us unregistered growers to prepare the

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