Let’s look at facts

2018-10-09 06:00

The decriminalising of cannabis (dagga) is definitely something to be welcomed and not scorned. This is the opposite of what Yagyah Adams from the Cape Muslim Congress argues in her letter (“The dagga debate”, People’s Post, 2 October).

There is no question that addiction is a problem in our society, but the only way to address this challenge effectively is with factual information and logical thinking.

For one, criminality related to cannabis has been chiefly centred on possession, that is, it is not a cause of crime in the same way that physically addictive substances are. Alcohol is legally obtainable even though it has more adverse effects than cannabis, but up to now people have been declared to be criminals for the act of just smoking a joint, just as they might otherwise have a beer.

It is vital to consider that cannabis has proven medical benefits.

The decision to decriminalize the possession of cannabis was a ground-breaking event in the history of decolonising South Africa. This decision was not an arbitrary policy decision by vote-seeking politicians, but the considered opinion of a full bench of South Africa’s most senior judges. It relates to our human rights that are protected by our Constitution and consequently is important to every one of us in preserving these rights.

Combating addition of any kind requires reason, scientifically-researched facts and protection of human rights as the basis on which to go forward.

Michael Aldridge, Email

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