The weed edition

2017-04-23 09:47
Picture: Tebogo Letsie

Picture: Tebogo Letsie

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Stoners rejoiced on March 31 at the news of an order by the Western Cape High Court that could see the private use and growing of marijuana at home decriminalised.

While social-media stoners tweeted in joy, media outlets proclaimed in blazing (excuse the pun) headlines: “Cannabis can now be grown, smoked at home, court rules” (The Citizen).

The problem? You can definitely still be arrested for smoking or growing weed, even at your own house. The ruling has opened the way for making home use legal based on one’s right to privacy.

However, until the Constitutional Court confirms the ruling and refers it to the National Assembly, it’s still illegal in terms of the country’s laws. Getting the order confirmed could take about two years.

The good news is that another case, known as the Trial of the Plant, is coming up at the end of July. This 19-day proceeding brought forward by Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs (better known as “the Dagga Couple”) will seek to definitively legalise marijuana throughout South Africa.

#Trending is pro-legalisation. Though this is not necessarily City Press’ position as a whole, we believe as a section that people should be able to use marijuana without fear of arrest. Dagga was used freely in this country before colonialism. As the dagga couple’s lawyer, Paul-Michael Keichel, so deftly tells us:

“As far as we can tell [from credible historians], cannabis prohibition finds its origin in the colonies, where whisky-drinking and tobacco-smoking settlers decided to outlaw the use of cannabis by indigenous populations, because it [so they said] made them too lazy to do the bidding of the colonialists and/or made them crazy.” The settlers of course ignored what their half-bottle-of-whisky-a-day did to themselves.

It’s clear that dagga prohibition is a colonial remnant. In addition, there’s a growing body of evidence for the medicinal and psychological benefits of marijuana. Imagine the boost this new share crop could give our economy and the entrepreneurship opportunities for our unemployed youth.

Until marijuana becomes fully legal in South Africa, we don’t encourage our readers to engage in illegal activity.

However, we will be rooting for the Dagga Couple come June and stand for the legalising of marijuana.

Do you think dagga should be decriminalised in SA?

SMS the keyword DAGGA and your thoughts to 35697. You can also email us at SMSes cost R1.50. Please include your name and province

Read more on:    marijuana

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