Malawi has invited world boxing champion Mike Tyson to become the official ambassador for the country’s cannabis crop.
Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Lupine Luo, sent a letter to the American hero inviting him to take over, saying that the laws in Malawi opened up new opportunities.
Tyson has previously won the world heavyweight boxing championship and is now a pioneer in investing in cannabis cultivation in the United States.
Observers criticized Malawi’s invitation, located in southeast Africa, noting that Tyson had previously been imprisoned upon conviction on sexual charges in the 1990s.
“Malawi does not want to go it alone in this complex and collaborative industry, so I am pleased to appoint you, Mr. Tyson, as the cannabis ambassador to Malawi,” the Agriculture Minister wrote.
The Department of Agriculture announced that the US Cannabis Cultivation Association worked to facilitate the deal with Tyson. The president of the Malawi chapter of the association, Wizzi Ngalamila, said that Mike Tyson had accepted the invitation and that procedures were being taken to visit him in Malawi.
“Tyson is going to work with us,” Ngalamila told the BBC.
Laws were passed in Malawi last year allowing the cultivation and processing of cannabis for medicinal use, but without authorizing the personal use of the narcotic plant.
The Malawi government encourages the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, as well as the use of its fibers in industry.
The authorities in Malawi hope that the name of the world boxing champion will help attract investors to the cannabis crop in the country, according to the French news agency, quoting a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi.
Among marijuana addicts around the world, a type that grows in Malawi is known as “Malawi Gold”.
Tyson says smoking marijuana helped him improve his mental health and turned his life around. However, some say that smoking strong types of cannabis may cause serious mental illnesses.
The Center for Public Accountability, a civic organization in Malawi, criticized the country’s government’s invitation to Tyson, citing crimes for which the former boxing champion was convicted.
Tyson was imprisoned in 1992 after being convicted of rape in Indiana, before being released in 1995 after serving less than three years.
The Center for Public Accountability said in a statement: “We cannot understand why Malawi would like to appoint a person convicted of rape as its ambassador. Especially at a time when the country’s government is announcing its efforts to reduce violence against women.”
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