Cannabis in the Streets of Lilongwe

By Junior Nyengera

I was walking down a street in the capital city, Lilongwe to buy some laptop accessories and I saw kids in school uniforms engaging in a troubling activity of buying cannabis. Everyone that I encountered was intoxicated. The call it being “high.” They were gathered in circles sharing drugs, and I even witnessed a fight between two people who threw bottles of beer at eachother. I believe that many youths are destroying their lives when taking the ganja together with alcohol. As I continued my walk, my mind was filled with a mixture of emotions and concern for the well-being of these kids. I was also frustrated with the presence of drug-related activities in such a public setting.

In Lilongwe, I went to buy laptop accessories so that I can work and write. From what I saw, I believe that I have more economic privilege than these young people in the bars. This concerns me that these youths are spending money on drugs that only use their resources and don’t add anything in their lives. If they would at least save the little money they have, they can end up changing their lives instead of killing themselves slowly with drugs.

I have had a friend, Daniel, who became an addict, and when I see people who are like that friend of mine, they remind me about him. That time, I was still in high school. Daniel failed to complete his exams because of smoking and drinking a lot. I wished there was a rehabilitation that existed by that time and maybe he would have recovered from his addiction. The youths that I encountered are like Daniel. I hope they do not end up like him in this street, which has no mercy for them but to show them drugs.

I am concerned about aspects of my community’s social life in such a way that youths engage in activities that are not good, and they end up destroying themselves. If the government would introduce livelihood activities that would distract them, it would  be good. This could be wellness activities like sports that includes competitions where they can even earn some money. When they can think about other possibilities, it can reduce the chances of them engaging in smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol everyday as if it were a job.

30 August, 2023