The Chairman of the Central Bank in the small landlocked nation of Kyrgyzstan, which lies between Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and China, made comments relating to cannabis recently that were somewhat controversial. suggested the nation use cannabis as a tourism draw, which would fill the hotels in the small former Soviet Union country.
AKIpress.com reported that chairman Tolkunbek Abdygulov, in a somewhat joking manner, recently commented:
“How to create a tourist heaven in Kyrgyzstan? If you’re, for instance, neoliberals, then think about creation of effective trademark. I know how to bring all the tourists here—legalize marijuana. That’s it. That’ll do. The entire CIS will travel Kyrgyzstan, no empty rooms in hotels will be left. That’s a trademark.”
His comments were during the national summit entitled “National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Kyrgyzstan Until 2040” which aired on their national television channel.
It remains a crime to posses cannabis in Kyrgyzstan and one can only assume the chairman was being sarcastic. But, that can be hard to tell. Just a few months ago the chairman suggested to citizens, in the mostly agrarian society, that they should buy gold as an investment, not cattle. Bloomberg reported:
“Gold can be stored for a long time and, despite the price fluctuations on international markets, it doesn’t lose its value for the population as a means of savings,” he said in an interview. “I’ll try to turn the dream into reality faster.”
In the two years that the central bank has offered bars directly to the population, about 140 kilograms of bullion have been sold, Abdygulov, 40, said by phone from the capital, Bishkek.
“We are hopeful that our country’s population will learn to diversify its savings into assets that are more liquid and — more importantly — capable of retaining their value,” he said. In rural areas, cattle is still the asset of choice for investors and savers, according to Abdygulov.
The 40 year old banking leader has an unusual way of leading the small nations investment and financial sector. Hopefully he had a modicum of seriousness in his comments and maybe the country will consider cannabis as a non-harmful tourist draw, which is what it would be! Maybe then the Krygyz’s will start investing in cannabis instead of gold or cattle!