The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, is firm in his opinion that cannabis must still remain a banned substance in Samoa.
During an interview with the Samoa Observer, he cited Biblical and historical reasons for his resolve on the matter.
“I don’t recommend it,” he said.
“Mainly because I know for sure that the word ‘assassin’ originates from marijuana. The term ‘hashish’ is another name for marijuana,” the Minister explained.
“The story that we have been taught in the Medical school was that ‘hashish’ was used by the Arabs, especially the young men so that they would be courageous enough to go and kill the Rabbis.”
“It’s Biblical, so these men who were encouraged to smoke hashish for those purposes are called ‘hashishist’ and that’s where the European word for assassins came from.”
“So it’s been long known that it plays with your mentality and your aggression issues.”
Despite arguments from many intelligent, highly respected and capable people in the community and abroad who say that the plant has valuable medicinal properties in healing people, the Minister believes their claims have ulterior motives.
“People have claimed that there is use for it, but you know we cannot go on people’s experience without Scientific research and if it was proven scientifically,” he said.
“I’m sure there would be a way to make it legal for people to use. For example if it can cure cancer, who would not use marijuana? Everyone would be using it,” Tuitama said.
“There are a lot of people talking about its usefulness and gathering their own information to support their own craving for marijuana, and it may be misleading people in order to justify their own use of marijuana.”
“For me, I don’t take it. I stick to what I have been taught.”