Sports

Malawi Asks Boxing Legend Mike Tyson To Be Their Cannabis Ambassador

Malawi, a southern African country, has asked boxing legend Mike Tyson to become the official ambassador for the nation’s cannabis crop.

The country’s Agriculture Minister Lobin Low sent a letter to Tyson inviting him to take up the role, and said legalisation in Malawi had created new opportunities.

Tyson, a former world heavyweight champion, is expected to bring expertise and help start mass production as a member of a national cannabis industry association in the United States but is yet to respond to the offer.

Last year, Malawi decriminalised cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, following other African nations in seeking to profit from growing industrial demand for hemp.

However, the industry is struggling to grow, mainly due to the expensive licences and a lack of investors and buyers.

The government is hoping that Tyson can provide the impetus and would help “rope in some investors and even potential buyers,” agriculture ministry spokesman Gracian Lungu told AFP.

“We have been facing a lot of challenges and the progress has been very slow,” Lungu said,

The retired professional boxer has long advocated the legalisation of cannabis and launched his own brand of weed products last month.

But his potential appointment has raised controversy, with a Malawian think-tank accusing the government of seeking to collaborate with a “sex offender”.

Tyson, 55, was found guilty in 1992 of raping an 18-year-old woman.

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He was sentenced to six years’ prison and four years’ probation. He was released in 1995.

In a statement, the Centre for Public Accountability has criticised the latest move due to Tyson’s previous crimes.

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

Lungu dismissed their concern, saying that Tyson was released on parole for good behaviour and had not committed any other crimes.

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