South Africa

Tue
08
Mar

Comrades in arms: South Africa, Russia, and the new global war on drugs

As the West throttles down on its 45-year-old war on drugs, acknowledging that the trillion-dollar price tag has only fuelled civil conflict in Latin America, crowded the prisons at home, and harmed more addicts than it has healed, another bloc of nations is gearing up to implement the self-same failed policies. So guess who’s with China, Indonesia, Russia and the Middle East on this? Yup, South Africa, under the inspired guidance of the Hawks. KEVIN BLOOM reports.

I. The Hawks and the Kremlin Drug Czars

Thu
18
Feb

Opinion: Legalisation of Dagga in South africa

Growing up in Soweto was very tough. There were just too many challenges and that has led to many young men resorting to drugs to forget everything happening around them. In 1997 a man asked my friend’s mother if he can erect his shack on their yard and because they needed the money they allowed him to. This man was selling Dagga for a living. As teenagers at that time we used to help him package it for distribution and he will buy us food and also give us the spillage for us to enjoy. As teenagers we used to enjoy that on the back of the toilet and because the neighbours used to complain about the odour or smell so we then smoked it in the veld. A few other friends joined us in smoking as it was given to us for free.

Fri
05
Feb

South Africa: High time to decriminalize cannabis trade

Loyiso Maqela* doesn’t see himself as a drug dealer or a criminal.

The 31-year-old dagga grower from a village near Mpande, south of Port St Johns on the Wild Coast, sees himself as more of a cross between a farmer and a herbalist.

Maqela, one of thousands of small-scale growers in his area, has never had a formal job, apart from working as a gillie for fishermen at nearby Mpande Beach since he was forced to leave school at the end of Grade 4. He reckons that joining the region’s multimillion-rand marijuana trade was his only option.

Fri
05
Feb

South Africa: Medical marijuana still a pipe dream

Studies suggest cancer patient numbers will rise by 70%.

Although World Cancer Day was commemorated yesterday, South Africa’s chance of using medical marijuana still lingers.

The Medical Innovation Bill was tabled in Parliament in 2014 by late IFP MP Mario Ambrosini – who took his life as a result of suffering from lung cancer.

According to IFP MP Narend Singh, the bill was being processed.

He said it had been sitting before the portfolio committee on health since early last year.

“The bill has gone through to the Medicines Control Council,” he said. “We are looking at amending it following informal meetings with the ANC.”

Fri
22
Jan

South Africa: Marijuana activism scores, Big Pharma equalises

In a policy brief published by the Medical Research Council on January 5, the medicinal value of cannabinoids was officially – and historically – recognised in South Africa. Three days later, the president signed into law the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act of 2015, a piece of legislation that theoretically allows Big Pharma to feed our dagga to us in pill form – or, if we like, through a straw. KEVIN BLOOM reports.

1. For the winners

Wed
20
Jan

Cape Town cops raid Rastafarian dagga plantation

Cape Town – Police officers discovered a plot of towering dagga plants between shacks in a Rastafarian informal settlement in Cape Town on Thursday.

The Trio Crimes and Gangs Unit visited the Marcus Garvey community in Philippi on Thursday morning after a tip-off, Western Cape police spokesperson Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said on Friday.

Officers dug up and confiscated the plants - with a total estimated street value of R1.7m - between 05:30 and 10:00. 

Four men and a woman were arrested on charges of illegal cultivation of dagga. The group was due to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court later on Friday.

Wed
13
Jan

The Cannabis Chronicles: Marijuana activism scores, Big Pharma equalises

In a policy brief published by the Medical Research Council on January 5, the medicinal value of cannabinoids was officially – and historically – recognised in South Africa. Three days later, the president signed into law the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act of 2015, a piece of legislation that theoretically allows Big Pharma to feed our dagga to us in pill form – or, if we like, through a straw. KEVIN BLOOM reports.

 

1. For the winners

Tue
29
Dec

SA 'dagga couple' vow to legalise weed

JOHANNESBURG - The so-called Dagga Couple are months away from heading to the North Gauteng High Court, to fight for the "re-legalisation" of cannabis.

Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke were arrested in 2010 for possession with intent to sell dagga which they said was for personal use.

They've responded by suing five government departments for what they claim are draconian laws governing the use of the intoxicating herb.

Watch the video report by eNCA’s Nickolaus Bauer in the gallery above.

Sat
12
Dec

Canada’s PM legalises cannabis, high time for SA?

As an old hippy myself, I’m all in favour of legalising dagga, the mind-altering weed that grows widely – and wildly – in South Africa. Also known as cannabis, marijuana or pot, the drug has research to support efficacy and safety of compounds it contains for pain control,  neurological diseases such as epilepsy, and to treat cachexia, a wasting syndrome in cancer, HIV/Aids and TB patients. In a recent post on Biznews, High times for dagga as medicine: fears go up in smoke!, I looked at the debate on dagga as one way to destroy the illegal market, and maximise benefits and minimise harms from medicinal and recreational use.

Tue
08
Dec

HIGH COURT POSTPONES DAGGA LEGALISATION CASE TO MARCH

Judge Dennis Davis suggested the applicants approach expert witnesses to bolster their case.

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