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Mike Tyson becomes Malawi ambassador for hashish

Mike Tyson becomes Malawi ambassador for hashish

Malawi in Southeast Africa has asked boxing star Mike Tyson to become the official ambassador for cannabis production in the country.

Agriculture Minister Lobin Low sent a letter to Tyson inviting him to take on the role and said legalization in Malawi had created new opportunities.

Tyson, a former world heavyweight champion, is an entrepreneur and has invested in a cannabis farm in the US.

But the move has been criticized by some after the former boxer was jailed for sexual offenses in the 1990s.

"Malawi may not be able to move forward only because the industry is complex and requires cooperation. Therefore, I would like to appoint you, Mr. Mike Tyson, as ambassador of the Malawi cannabis branch," wrote Mr. Lowe.

The United States Cannabis Association was facilitating the deal with Tyson, the agriculture ministry said.

The head of her Malawi branch, Wezi Ngalamila, told the BBC that the former boxer had accepted the invitation and that plans were under way for him to visit the country.

"Tyson will work with us," she said.

Malawi legalized the growth and processing of cannabis for medicinal use last year, but did not legalize it for personal use.

The country's Ministry of Agriculture has encouraged farmers to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes, as well as hemp for industrial use.

The government hopes Mr. Tyson's support will "attract some investors and even potential buyers," ministry spokesman Gracian Lungu told the AFP news agency.

A variety of locally grown cannabis - Malawian gold - is recognized by recreational users around the world.

Tyson has said that smoking cannabis helped improve his mental health and change his life. However, some studies have suggested that smoking powerful cannabis may increase the risk of serious mental illness.

The Center for Public Accountability, a civil society group in Malawi, criticized the recent move because of Tyson's previous crimes.

The former boxer was jailed in 1992 after being convicted of rape in Indiana. He was released in 1995 after serving less than three years.

"The CPA is failing to understand why Malawi would like to have a rapist convicted as its brand ambassador, especially at this time when efforts to curb violence against women are part of the government's agenda," she said in a statement. the group’s acting director, Kondwani Munthali.