Cannabis South Africa 2018
Below written for Servamus magazine, meanwhile please WhatsApp it to all police officers on your list, because the CDCSA is serious about suing for wrongful arrest.
BUSTING DAGGA MYTHS
Because the courts and commanders are leaving it to individual officers to decide when to arrest for possession of, or dealing in dagga, the Cannabis Development Council of SA would like to answer officers’ questions to ensure they make a reasonable and rational choice. Find more information on www.cdcsa.co.za, or contact the author, former Sgt Alwyn Viljoen, for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Must we still arrest for possession in public?
Because dagga found in a car or in someone’s pocket was in a private space, prosecutors around SA are now sending back these dockets, telling officers not to waste the court’s time.
Must we arrest for dealing?
The law requires this, but finding proof of dealing is all but impossible. Users currently use dagga clubs which give products free to paid up members, or send home-made gifts that contain dagga to people who donated money, none of which can be proved as dealing.
Can we be sued for arresting people with dagga in public?
Yes, dagga users are now getting legal advice to use the vagueness of the courts’ rulings that allow dagga use in private spaces by suing the SAPS for unlawful arrest and detention.
But is dagga then not a gateway drug that’s bad for society?
Big Pharma would like you to think so, but studies consistently rank alcohol as the number one cause of harm around the world, while the highly addictive nicotine in cigarettes is most young people’s first drug. That said, dagga is powerful medicine and people who take dagga with alcohol may have double the risk of making car accidents and can experience psychoses. Detain anyone who is drunk and disorderly in public. But respect their constitutional right to be stupid in private spaces.
What about JoinProv Instruction 85 of 2018?
That instruction to request officers not to arrest for possessing for under 3 kg does show which way commanders and prosecutors are leaning when it comes to prosecution, but it is not the law. Because dagga posses thousands of industrial uses, there can be no rational limit to the quantity of dagga possessed. For example, a farmer who wants to distil biodiesel from dagga, or a crafter who wants to make archival-grade paper, or a weaver who makes cloth, all need to grow tons of dagga.
Is dagga addictive?
Only one in ten people develop a dependency on the benign, pain-free state dagga brings, which means it is the person that gets addicted, not the plant that is addictive. By comparison, sugar, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine are all addictive. People frequently forget to take their medicinal cannabis. Nobody forgets that need to add sugar, or have a ciggy.
What makes dagga so good then?
When taken daily as a dried herb over food, dagga “switches on” the body’s vast system of cannabinoid receptors. These receptors, among others, super boost the immune system, regulate sleep patterns and appetite, kill cancerous cells and produce calmness. Taken weekly in bigger doses, such as smoking half a bud or eating half a teaspoon of the flowers over warm food, will also remove stress and the disorders associated with stressful events, like PTSD.
Can you smoke the seeds?
No, the seeds contain none of the over a hundred cannabinoids in the plant, but are officially recognised as a super food, with the ideal ratios of omega oils for the brain and high levels of protein for the muscles.