My dagga contact not ‘cool’

2017-08-22 06:00

I am compelled to add my two cents’ worth to the discussion on dagga.

Whilst I bow to the research provided by Dr Holmes and “Crawford” (“Cannabis repairs DNA”, People’s Post, 15 August) indicating medicinal benefits – and thank them for the clarity – I cannot help but empathise with the original gist of the initial letter (“Dagga stokes arrogance”, 8 August).

My concern arises from many years of perplexing phenomena, situations and tragedy during my personal experience with marijuana and other users.

These occasions were very often characterised by recreational users of the drug citing many medicinal benefits loooong ago. Glaucoma, appetite stimulant, respiratory benefits, etc., which were never questioned but accepted readily to justify the recreational need to get high.

Later coming to befriend a pharmacist, I learned of the fat solubility of THC and the lengthy period of time required to scrub the brain’s grey matter of it – unlike alcohol which takes 24 hours or so.

I feel my contribution here may be of value and my experiences may actually be very tame compared to others’.

Firstly, at boarding school (aged 16), one of the brightest minds in the class began experimenting with high-grade Swazi rooibaard (back in the day). This fellow began behaving strangely and needed to resolve his sexuality by inviting himself to girls’ dormitories and shower areas. He also tried to get into our housemaster’s bedroom as he was sure he was gay and requested his first homosexual experience.

After exhaustive counselling sessions with this individual it began to look like he was on a path of no return and indeed did not return to “sanity”. We later heard of his suicide about two or three years after him leaving. We as youngsters were all very perplexed and frightened as we had never seen anything like it.

This psychosis I have unfortunately had the misfortune of witnessing on two other occasions with two other individuals, both with weighty qualifications (Bsc, Bsc Hons, BComm, Optometry ...). The optometrist also lost his mind and began behaving erratically after a long time of knowing him. He too ended up drinking himself to death while refusing to stop smoking dagga which facilitated his mental disorder (which promoted the drinking).

The other is in and out of mental institutions and also cannot seem to stop smoking, despite being arrested for public disturbance and detained at a psychiatric facility on more than three occasions.

I later learned of these latent schizophrenia types are indeed sensitive to whichever chemical is contained in dagga smoke.

I personally also had a lengthy relationship with what I thought was a harmless substance. Until many years ago when it became clear that what I thought my life was, was actually a mirage – with very very dire consequences. It had been impossible for anyone to convince me until 10 years later when it all nearly went up in smoke. I learned the hard way and I am one of the lucky ones.

Of course, part of the justification resided subliminally in the harmless, medicinal, natural herb mythology which is present among smokers.

My latest experiences concern my dagga-smoking students at a university, who are noteworthy for their inability to concentrate, communicate coherently, demonstrate any significant memory capacity or carry out simple instructions (despite numerous attempts from my side). Presumably seduced by the notions of “cool” promoted by many rap and hip-hop celebrities but also, I imagine (research pending), encouraged by the revolution taking place which announces the benefits of this “amazing” plant. Not to mention fortunes, new megawealth from an as yet untapped resource ...

I would like to caution everyone who wishes to promote its use – medicinal or otherwise – to tread carefully.

Lives are very much at stake, most importantly young ones.

Anonymous lecturer Email

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