Activist calls for dagga laws to be reviewed

2014-06-14 00:00

PRO medical dagga activist Sheldon Cramer (aka Bobby Hashgreen) from Richards Bay is calling for a review of the laws prohibiting the use of dagga.

This comes after Cramer was arrested for smoking dagga in public during the Global Cannabis March in Durban last month.

He was charged with possession of dagga and appeared at the Durban Magistrate’s Court last week.

During his arrest, Cramer commented that if it was not for people standing up for what they believe in, South Africa would still be in the apartheid era.

Cramer (48) is involved in legal compliance and maritime law, so he’s not your average stoner.

“I went to the Durban Global Cannabis March on the third of May and I was violently arrested at the march for puffing a joint that was going around the crowd, and charged with possession of dagga,” Cramer told Weekend Witness. “At this point, I decided to challenge the laws prohibiting marijuana, so I have now instituted a high court action against the state, calling for the laws on marijuana/dagga to be reviewed, given the evidence that dagga is actually a well documented potent medicine capable of curing cancer.”

Cramer’s case heard last week was postponed to June 24. He said on that day he will serve the magistrate with a notice of intent to summons the state and to set aside his dagga case, pending the outcome of the high court case.

“I am tired of being treated like a criminal for doing what is morally correct,” said Cramer. “The legalisation of dagga poses a huge financial threat to the pharmaceutical industry, as confirmed recently by the Health Department, replacing 60% of their product lines. This in itself will ensure that I have a fight ahead of me.”

Cramer said he used dagga for herbal remedies that he distributes to terminally ill people.

Health spokesperson Joe Maile would not comment on the matter. He said the issue on the legalisation of dagga is in the hands of the justice system.

Lawrence Ngobeni, spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said proposals for any laws are channelled to the South African Law Reform Commission for consideration.

In February, Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini appealed to President Jacob Zuma to legalise medicinal marijuana as an alternative treatment for cancer patients. Oriani-Ambrosini was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

In his statement in Parliament, he said he was supposed to have died already, but he is positive the marijuana remedy has saved his life.

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