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Iron Mike may soon be known by another name: His Excellency.
Last week, the BBC reported that Malawi’s agriculture minister, Lobin Lowe, sent a letter to Mike Tyson asking him to serve as the African nation’s official representative of legal weed.
"Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex [and requires] collaboration,” Lowe wrote. “I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi's Cannabis Branch ambassador.”
According to the BBC, a Malawi official confirmed that Tyson accepted the invitation. In 2020, the country legalized medical cannabis. Recreational use remains banned.
What, exactly, would Kid Dynamite do with such an explosive role? Ambassadors typically act as specialized go-betweens for nations. Given that the United States Cannabis Association, a trade and lobbyist group, is negotiating the Malawi deal, it’s safe to say that Tyson would likely act as a consultant. After all, he intimately understands the plant, grows his own crops, and has been trying to set up weed franchises in foreign countries.
Of course, anything involving Tyson comes with controversy.
A Malawi civil society organization, the Centre for Public Accountability, opposed the Tyson ambassador appointment. "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," Kondwani Munthali, the group’s director, said in a press release.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted by an Indiana court for the rape of then-18-year-old Desiree Washington. He served three years of a six-year sentence.