Zambia court punishes student cannabis cake baker with essay

These are the cannabis-laced cakes Chikwanda Chisendele was found in possession of by policeImage copyright Drug Enforcement Commission
Image caption Police said they caught Chikwanda Chisendele with cannabis-laced cakes weighing more than 1kg (2.2lb)

A university student has been ordered to write an essay on the dangers of drugs after being convicted of planning to sell cannabis cakes.

Police arrested Chikwanda Chisendele, a first-year civil engineering student at the Copperbelt University, on Monday.

The 21-year-old was caught with cannabis-laced cakes weighing more than 1kg (2.2lb), police said.

As part of his punishment, a judge sentenced him to write a 50-page essay on drug use.

In court, he was told to write letters of apology to his university, parents and to Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEF) before 15 November.

The judge also gave Chisembele a two-year suspended jail term, meaning that he will not spend any time in jail unless he commits another offence.

The DEF said it has “intensified efforts to nab individuals” baking cakes containing cannabis.

In a warning to universities, the agency urged them to “be alert in view of the trend of cakes and scones laced with cannabis being trafficked among students”.

Under Zambian law, marijuana is classed as a dangerous drug, and is illegal to possess.

The trafficking, possession and use of illegal drugs such as cannabis is punishable by a fine or a prison sentence.

Zambia, a former British colony in southern Africa, has struggled with drug abuse and trafficking in the past, especially cannabis and heroin.

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