If you think that dagga is a dangerous narcotic, then you have been duped through propaganda. Dagga is as traditional to SA as biltong, boerebeskuit and witblits. It fascinated JV Riebeeck and missionaries extolled its virtues. It grows like a weed, is medicinal in its natural form with a lower potential for harm to self and society than sugar. Supported by science (endocannabinoid system), legal in 24 USA states with 200 million US citizens having access to it as medicine (endocannabinoid system) + populations of 11 other countries. Deaths from opioid overdoses has also dropped by up to 25% in states with legal dagga.
The current ‘war on drugs’ is a broken system. It’s a war on people and does little to protect anyone from substance abuse. It’s the same mentality that was used to justify enforcing the mixed marriages act, where the offender is also the victim. A perverse incentive to put people into prison. From physical prison to social prison with a subsequent criminal record.
You will find plenty of peer reviewed studies, medical professionals (Joycelyn Elders, Andrew Weil, Lester Grinspoon, Deborah Malka, Sanjay Gupta, Abrams, Suzanne Sisley, Denis Petro, Ethan Russo, Uma Dhanabalan, Jeffrey Block, Bonni Goldstein, Juan Sanchez-Ramos..) who support dagga as a therapeutic plant.
In SA, the Bobby Greenhash foundation PTY is supplying dagga oil to people suffering with terminal diseases. Their testimonials to the healing power of dagga is worth a read. The SA central drug authority (CDA) has also called for the decriminalization of dagga and a recent study they commissioned, concluded that dagga kills cervical cancer.
Vilifying dagga and then using that stance to ‘protect our children’ is pointless. Rather fact based solutions (science) focusing on harm reduction through healthcare and education, as recommended by the SA substance abuse experts, S Kelley and Quintin Van Kerken.
Better that control of dagga is removed from the streets and regulated from behind the counter through legalization. This removes the ‘taboo label’, enabling people who need help to seek it, without the fear of being arrested.
Dagga is a therapeutic plant. Time we treat it that way.
“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan