PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Buzz
 
Comments: 40
Article views: 1258
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Buzz's badges.
 

The year of hope for dope

04 January 2013, 07:13

The year of hope for dope

2012 has been an immense year for cannabis. It was discussed more than ever. It made headlines more than ever. Its prohibition cost us more than ever.

The USA saw an 18th State allow for the medical use of cannabis and the introduction of the first 2 States permitting legal recreational use for adults. British politicians faced another government commission report recommending that cannabis be reclassified as a legal drug, which they again ignored. An increasing number of South American countries moved towards legalization while many European countries weren’t far behind in their efforts to see an end to the costly and counterproductive prohibition. Even the Netherlands is bucking the recent attempts to restrict cannabis use to Dutch citizens only.

South Africa’s cannabis scene heated up with the best of them. The Dagga Couple maintained their quest to the Constitutional Court, a government commissioned report concluded that cannabis should be legal and we witnessed the tragedy of Debbie Calitz falling on her sword in an effort to protect her loved ones from South Africa’s archaic cannabis laws. We’ve even seen the introduction of South Africa’s first legal hemp crop. 2013 is most certainly going to be an interesting year for the cannabis movement.

Obstacles faced by activists and regular citizens alike regarding the defeat of cannabis prohibition have been very similar to that of the obstacles faced during the overthrow of the USA’s alcohol prohibition laws, a fundamental difference however being the pace of the end of alcohol prohibition vs the pace of the end of cannabis prohibition. One lasted for a few years while the other has lasted a century, but how long will our elected leaders maintain their weakening grasp on the existing cannabis laws? How long till cannabis users are no longer considered second class citizens?

The efforts of certain local religious groups and respected professionals to uphold prohibition are being met by the very people they are attempting to suppress. Social media and the internet are providing the ability to now scale the ivory towers in which these prohibitionists reside so that we are able to have a direct discussion. No longer are our voices muffled by the condescending oppression of officials in high places. This ability to now tackle our critics head on has been a major catalyst in evolving the discussion.

Another catalyst that is accelerating the end of prohibition is that we have gone from a society of very few closet cannabis users to a society in which you are hard-pressed to find a friend or family member who has not at some point tried cannabis for themselves, learning first hand that it is not the villain weed so often demonized by officials and politicians. In the face of increased attempts by authorities to suppress cannabis use it is more prolific than ever, the local cannabis community has grown from a few people to a few million people who are tired of being branded losers and stoners for making a choice that presents far fewer risks than the current legal over the counter options.

The discussion has evolved, the numbers are in. Cannabis, though not completely harmless, is just about one of the safest substances you can consume. Sure… it’s an intoxicant and a miniscule amount of people may be mentally allergic to it, but the risk it poses is minor when compared to the legal substances we are fed constant images of on billboards and TV screens. Gateway theories and sensationalist claims have now also found their place in the book of fairytales. Fact is fast overtaking fiction.

We are approaching a time of cannabis profits being taken away from criminals, sales to children no longer being part of the cannabis market and adults being allowed to legally use cannabis. There are no disillusions that legal cannabis will see the complete end to the fallout of adolescent use or irresponsible use; these are realities we face as part of being human. There are however no doubts that we will be able to minimize the ill effects currently seen from cannabis use. Long standing examples set by countries such as Portugal, Switzerland and the Netherlands demonstrate how relaxed laws regarding cannabis have lead to lower use, lower social expense and decreased prison populations. All of this is even before we begin the discussion of what benefits would come from a legal cannabis industry.

The war against cannabis costs thousands of lives and billions of Rand each year, yet it has not shown a single positive result in its century long track record. Ever increasing demand continues to be met irrespective of attempts by authorities to guide our morals with assault rifles and prison bars.

Prohibition of cannabis is a cancer upon our society and it is no longer just cannabis users who see the sense in bringing it to an end. The price of prohibition is simply too big to ignore.

Is it not time to stop basing our laws regarding cannabis on something more than blind faith? Is it not time to strive towards making a positive tangible difference by having a constructive and legal cannabis industry in South Africa? Is it not time to disregard the paranoia of prohibitionists?

Is it not time to free the millions of people suppressed by an obviously flawed and failing law?

For more information and details regarding the local cannabis movement you can visit:

www.belowthelion.co.za
www.daggacouple.co.za
www.norml.org.za
www.weed.co.za

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
40 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nhlanhla Nyembe
Pistorius sentencing

The five-year sentence received by Pistorius just goes to show that there is different justice for different people.  Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Saskia Ferreira
Oscar's Punishment does not fit t...

When putting a murderer on trial one needs to disregard his social status. This in my eyes is something they didn't do. They should have treated him as "Oscar, the guy who killed Reeva".  Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Renee Viljoen
Oscar Sentence.. unfair !!

I do not believe that he did not know Reeva was behind the door... justice was not served!! Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Ivy Carter
Oscar is NOT responsible...

You may not like what you are going to hear about the OP trial here but someone needs to say it, so I will take the punch with your thumbs downs and the rest of it. Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Dineo Malakoane
Oscar Pistorius: Unjust Justice

I am absolutely disappointed at the 5yr sentence that Oscar received. I believe that Gerrie Nel did a brilliant job and Judge Masipa should have found him guilty of murder in the first place.  Read more...

6 comments 254 views
Submitted by
Jeff Woodworth
Jail sentence of Oscar

The count 1 of culpable homicide the sentence of 5 years is not appropriate, at least 10 years max, with 5 years suspended sentence, this will sent a message to all who takes the life of another. Read more...

1 comments 42 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.