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Location of Swaziland within Africa

Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland and sometimes called kaNgwane or Eswatini, is a sovereign state in Southern Africa surrounded, with the exception of Mozambique to its east by South Africa. It and its ethnic people take their names from Mswati II, the 19th-century king under whose rule Swazi territory was expanded and unified. Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is no more than 200 km north to south and 130 km| east to west.


Cannabis and all activities associated with it are illegal in Swaziland under the Opium and Habit Forming Drugs Act of 1922 with offenders facing a maximum custodial imprisonment sentence of 5 years with or without a fine and/or hard labor.[1] However, the Pharmacy Act stipulates a 15 year maximum sentence or a fine of 15,000 emalangeni (£1,014) for those found to be selling drugs illegally; this law is often cited in cases of sale and distribution.

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small, landlocked country in southern Africa, which shares its borders with South Africa and Mozambique. Swaziland is an impoverished country, and over 75% of its population makes a living from subsistence farming. Cannabis is a hugely valuable crop, and is usually exported straight to South Africa.

Cannabis is illegal in Swaziland under the Opium and Habit Forming Drugs Act of 1922; the Pharmacy Act of 1929 also makes mention of cannabis. The former Act deals only with cases of possession and use, and stipulates a maximum five-year custodial sentence for individuals found to be in possession of cannabis. Despite cannabis’ illegal status, there is some indication that the previous monarch, King Sobhuza II allowed certain farmers to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The Royal Swazi Police, in cooperation with the South African Police Service, have been spraying cannabis crops in Swaziland since the late 1990s, although with little success as the supply of cannabis has not been significantly impacted.[2]


Swaziland is also know for the Swazi strain of cannabis, a pure sativa that is grown outdoors in large quantities, the quality of the strain tends to be of a lower variety. Swazi is very rarely sold by the gram. It’s mostly sold by the bank bag, or very often in match boxes.[3]

High Times once stated, "despite Swaziland's small size, it devotes more land to the growing of cannabis than India".[4]

Additional Resources


  1. Laws and legal news about marijuana in Swaziland (2014), Marijuana Travels
  2. Cannabis in Swaziland (December 4, 2013), Sensi Seeds
  3. Swazi (September 20, 2010), Below the Lion
  4. The Gold Mine of Marijuana: Swaziland (January 22, 2014), High Times


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