The court in Malawi has backed the government’s decision to put former boxer Mike Tyson as the country’s ambassador for the country’s cannabis industry.
The court said in a ruling this week that it had no doubts about the decision to hire the 66-year-old boxer, saying the matter was above board and was meant to promote Malawi’s oil-based industrial hemp industry.
Tyson was hired in February by Malawi’s ministry of justice and constitutional affairs as an ambassador for the industry, aiming to spread the information that cannabis can have positive effects on persons suffering from epilepsy, dementia and other illnesses.
But the move was condemned by the opposition party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, which alleged that the ministry did not have the required authorization and that the government was intimidating journalists.
Opposition political party presidential candidate Emmanuel Mutharika told supporters during a rally on April 22 that he would not allow Tyson to be the country’s ambassador for the cannabis industry.
“Let me tell you, when you put people like that in there, it means they can do anything. We have to be very careful. They cannot be given authority and powers. Why not appoint them after proper investigation and then they will be going around telling people how to produce hemp,” Mutharika said.
Mutharika was defeated by his younger brother President Peter Mutharika in a closely fought presidential election.
Mike Tyson, a Brooklyn, New York, native, was born into a Jamaican-American family. He is a six-time world heavyweight boxing champion and a boxing promoter.