Public Letter to Helen Zille : Cannabis in South Africa

If you’re on twitter, click the below button to tweet this letter to Helen:


Dear Helen,

There’s something wrong with the world today. In our little slice of Africa, huge amounts of our resources and money are being spent to uphold a questionable law… I write to you in the hope that, as a reasoned and enlightened leader, you will share your opinion on the matter.

The prohibition of Cannabis is a long-standing moral wishing-well; one built on racist and emotive beliefs. Consider, for example, the following statement by Harry J. Anlsinger, the man who spearheaded the prohibition of cannabis: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” Those who ruled our country during the early 20th century set a similar standard by making South Africa the first country in the world to make cannabis use illegal. And for pretty much the same reasons as ol’ Harry above; certainly not one of our proudest pioneer moments.

For a century this policy has gone unquestioned and remained without critical examination. It has received little more than talk of how to throw more hard-earned money down the prohibition wishing-well. There’s no denying that popular prophecies regarding cannabis have come true: It certainly is a gateway drug when you’re forced to get it from a drug dealer. It is associated with crime simply by being illegal. Furthermore, there will always be those who are unable to tolerate too much of a good thing. And although cannabis may be disagreeable to the anomalous individual, at least it won’t kill them.

There is no denying that addiction can be bad. That’s a fact of life. Whether you get your fix off the shelf at the local supermarket, or in a big brown paper bag at the drive-thru, go under a cosmetic surgeon’s blade, or grab a six pack on the way home. We tend to do what makes us happy, even if there’s a risk attached. Some risks are tiny, whilst others can have life-changing consequences, such as unprotected sex. All of the above examples are potentially lethal, but we don’t arrest people for doing them.

I’ve done my homework, from the local drug master plan and cannabis history through to medical cannabis and hemp. If one considers, firstly, the fact that cannabis is one of the world’s most versatile and renewable natural resources, and secondly, the decades of scientific research that document its use; it seems that the statistics are overwhelmingly in cannabis’ corner. Even when used in its crudest form (aka. joint), it is a non-lethal low-harm substance that is not physically addictive. The same cannot be said for many of its legal counterparts. I’ll concede that it could be psychologically addictive, but that’s what happens when something makes you happy. Pretty much like chocolate or caffeine. Right now, we hold none of the cards. We do not control who gets cannabis or how they get it. We do not control the quality or trade of cannabis. We don’t legally use or tax what is an infamously large local (and international) industry. We just keep tossing cash into the wishing well. The cost of one year’s imprisonment for a cannabis user is the equivalent of at least: 2 RDP houses or 13 jobs for a year or 2,500 text books. I just don’t understand it, Helen. Most of us have a friend or loved one who does not deserve to have their future crippled by being branded a criminal for the sake of this hypocritical law.

Therefore, as a leader who is well-respected for being rational, reasonable and enlightened, I would like to pose the following question to you:

Should the use of cannabis amongst consensual adults really constitute a criminal act, considering that the substance is categorically safer than just about all of its legal counterparts?

Yours sincerely
Buzz
belowthelion@gmail.com
www.belowthelion.co.za

P.S. This is a public letter that I will be sharing wherever I can online and I hope to receive a response that I can share with the millions of South Africans who consider the topic relevant and pressing. The people with a valuable vote to spare.

If you’re on twitter, click the below button to tweet this letter to Helen:


Helen Zille

Whether we get an actual response remains to be seen. My gut tells me that it will have more to do with you than me. So send your own letters or e-mails, tweet @hellenzille or simply pass my letter to the left… Whatever. Have your say and lets get the conversation out there. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, attached to the letter I posted to Helen was the list of studies below.

What the studies say:

“There is definite evidence in this study that the marihuana users were not inferior in intelligence to the general population and that they had suffered no mental or physical deterioration as a result of their use of the drug.” – The La Guardia Committee Report, 1944
“The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective.” – Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding, The Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972
“Encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens. This recommendation applies especially to cannabis” – Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, 2011
Most Harmful Drugs
- Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis, 2010
“In sum, there is little evidence that decriminalization of marijuana use necessarily leads to a substantial increase in marijuana use.” – National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, 1999
“The evidence is accumulating … that liberalization does not increase cannabis use [and] that the total prohibition approach is costly [and] ineffective as a general deterrent.” – Cannabis, the Law and Social Impacts in Australia, 1995
“It has been demonstrated that the more or less free sale of [marijuana] for personal use in the Netherlands has not given rise to levels of use significantly higher than in countries which pursue a highly repressive policy.” – Drugs: Policy in the Netherlands: Continuity and Change. 1995.
“Making people criminals for taking psychoactive substances is in itself criminal, for one is dealing with, at worst, a vice but not a crime.” – JP van Niekerk, Managing Editor – South African Medical Journal
Related Posts with Thumbnails

About the Author: Buzz

Aspiring cannabis connoisseur who is unable to contain his frequently imploding thoughts, therefore sharing them with you on his quest for enlightenment, or The Force, whichever comes first. Buzz is also is in charge of the day to day runnings at the BTL Headshop.


143 Responses so far

Want to say something?


  1. Patrick Swazi says:

    Would be risky acknowledging the undeniable facts of cannabis as a politician of the DA, and that the war on drugs has failed. Too many conservative people still in South Africa who vote for them. Marijuana or DAGGA is seen as an evil social ill worse than alcohol. Not sure I know one person that hasn’t smoked weed besides my mom and granny. Let us remain excited about the future as a more ecudated youth start taking over.

    • Buzz says:

      Yeah Patrick, it’s tricky territory for a politician.

    • Ken Strang says:

      In the case of the conservatives that vote for the DA, maybe they should move to a party that espouses their views. We cannot be held back by those that vote DA purely because there is no more racist National Party. If it’s tricky for Helen then it’s her own career she is concerned with and not the country. It’s yay or nay Helen!

    • Bettie says:

      Well count me in with your mom and granny and I feel sorry for guys like you and your cannabis friends who need a little help to feel okay. I dealt with a lot of individuals who has been the victim and experienced the consequences of living with cannabis users – this is my job! Not a happy ones. If you guys are honest and you speak to ex-drug addictive persons, most of them said it started with cannabis. Enjoy your ride.

      • Buzz says:

        Hi Bettie

        Thank you for your comment on our Facebook page and here.

        The work you do is unbelievable, I know because my parents were both drug addicts and people such as you were of the few positive moments in my childhood. Please stop and think about what you’re saying though.
        Cannabis in itself is not illegal, it is our interaction with it that is illegal. In effect this means that the very people you are trying to help through their suffering are being branded criminals. Not cannabis, it doesn’t care what happens to it. It’s not legal cannabis that’s brought us to the current state of drug use or abuse though. It’s cannabis prohibition that’s created the world we live in.

        Having survived a home of substance abuse, I appreciate how bad things were…. but the criminal records my parents received for cannabis possession crippled our family to the core.

        By opposing legalisation you are condemning the very people you are trying to help.

        Please read through the letter and its references.
        You may see that we all want the same thing in the end, just not by the same means.

        P.s. A drug user’s path to addiction is paved with many stones. Cannabis is neither the gateway nor the beginning of that path.

      • bobby says:

        Thats what happens when you outlaw something, only outlaws will use it. How can you lock up someone who uses marijuana for say medical purposes? Have you actually done any research into Marijuana? I bet that all of your “Drug addicts” are addicted to something else, like alcohol or cigarettes, but hey, blame marijuana, because its illegal! The legal shit you can freely buy over the counter is responsible for more deaths than Marijuana ever was, in fact google it, there is no recorded death in the history of this planet as a result of Marijuana. On the other hand, there is indiputable proof that it cures cancer. The proaganda that the institute has fed us for years has taken its toll, and it pops up now and again in the form of an uninformed narrow minded few who still think that the earth is flat, and marijuana is a drug. Get your fact straight lady, if you were a little more knowledgable on the subjects, you will be able to put it the good it was intended for. Oh yes, and I have enjoyed the ride for the last 30 years of my life, and I still got an IQ or 127, live a normal family life, kids wife. I dont beat them because I am stoned, or get behind the wheel of my car and kill somebody. I am a normal person, hell I could be your neighbour I am so normal.

    • Aloe says:

      I think you would find it interesting that Mamphela Ramphele is the co-chair of House of Hemp, a company that has been promoting the establishment of a hemp fibre industry. They have consecutively failed to achieve their goals. More than R800 000 000 of government funding has not been accounted for. Parastatals like the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research outright refuse to divulge any information.

  2. I believe that Zille is still on her bicycle tour past the garden route. She’s handing out bicycles along the way, some will be used for chronic pain medication dispensing… http://www.westerncape.gov.za/eng/your_gov/3576/news/2012/jun/252324

    “The Western Cape Government spends more than R1 billion each year on diseases that could be significantly reduced if everyone made healthier choices about their lives and sexual behaviour. This cycle tour not only demonstrates our active commitment to those lifestyle choices, it is an opportunity for me to take this important “Better Together” message out to the people themselves. We will continue providing excellent health services to the Western Cape, but it is everyone’s responsibility to keep themselves as healthy as possible.

    Then we could potentially save R1 billion we currently spend on preventable diseases to spend on other things like education, unpreventable health conditions and job creation.”

    I wonder if she knows that Cannabis is one of the best know preventative medicines known to man?

    So the Cape Gov wants to save R1 Bil in health care..

    Here’s some stats: Amsterdam’s Cannabis related revenue is around €1.6 Billion a year, yet Amsterdam’s total population size, is the size of Cape Town’s Cannabis users put together….

    What if…

    • Very valid points Tommy.

      Not to mention the nutritional value of hemp seeds and the wonders it could do to boost the immune systems of those living below the poverty belt.

      Hemp seeds contain:
      * All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
      * A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
      * Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
      * Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
      * A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
      * A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
      * A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
      * The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.

      • Greg says:

        Very important points, but I feel that there is a very critical issue which this debate so easily forgets. It is that there is a distinct difference between Cannabis and Hemp. One is strong and sturdy – Hemp, which can be used for industry. Hemp Seeds, Clothing, Paper (see: American Constitution), Oil, etc. While the other, has the THC required to get you high, but is mostly a non-viable plant for industry.
        http://www.hemp-guide.com/difference-between-cannabis-and-hemp.html

        Letting these two different plants feature in the same argument is counter productive. If the argument is “We want to get high, how can you stop us?”, that argument is very different to the “South Africa needs the Hemp plant, we should create industry around it.” focuses on a different realm entirely. Now, yes, I do see that Cannabis has an industry too, which can be taxed etc. Let’s just take a moment to see that to win these, we should disassociate the two, as it is not useful for conservatives once they associate one with the other.

        Here is an interesting point:
        http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/city-gives-approval-for-hemp-farming-1.1036456
        Hemp production is legal in South Africa, but only with a Narcotics licence. This is the crux of the issue, the misunderstanding and misappropriation of features which define different plants.

      • Agreed Greg. We realise that the hemp issue deserves it’s own argument entirely, and therefore wasn’t intended to be a part of this letter (although it did get a small mention).

        The main point of this letter is about the final question, should we be sending regular, hard working, tax paying, law abiding (if you exclude their pot habit) citizens to prison for something which harms no one? The punishment far outweighs the crime, and that’s the point.

      • Buzz says:

        Hemp is definitely relevant and a great resource that is villanized by default due to cannabis ingestion.

        Whether it is something that should be treated seperately to regular cannabis is debatable.

        My view is that it would be extremely difficult to have one without the the other. It would create a half pregnant situation.

        It would be great to see hemp permitted legally… it would be better if we saw all of cannabis’ uses permitted legally.

      • an other says:

        the law defines cannabis. full stop. it makes no distinction.

        Hemp is of the genus cannabis, and by law is illegal. There are alleged licenses for ‘hemp’ (although the form that allows this you have you use the word cannabis and not hemp) production in South Africa. I challenge anyone to post a picture of a valid license.

      • Ken Strang says:

        Greg, it’s not only about getting high, it’s also about the healing properties of the cannabinoids in cannabis. Due to the fact that the ignorant cannot tell the difference between the two plants, hemp has been villified at the expense of the planet and it’s inhabitants.
        Why, pray tell, do I need a narcotics license to grow a non-narcotic? That question alone shows the ignorance that prevails.
        The free cultivation of all species of cannabis will achieve two fundamental gains – employment for the masses and policing where it is actually needed.
        As for the health of our nation, start at what we eat and ban GM foodstuffs for a start.

      • John says:

        “While the other, has the THC required to get you high, but is mostly a non-viable plant for industry.”

        I have to disagree with you on that point. If it’s non-viable why are pharmaceutical companies rushing to patent synthetic cannabinoids with medicinal value? What about Sativex? What about the recreational industry?

        Medical cannabis is an extremely viable industry in itself, but at the same time is a massive threat to the current pharmaceutical industry.

      • High Greg,

        Hemp is Cannabis, Cannabis is not hemp.

        Divide and conquer is their rule.

        We should altogether FORGET about the name hemp and solely focus on cannabis.

        It’s a disgrace to our plant, creating more unneeded battles.

        You can get it all from one plant. Don’t be fooled my friend.

        By saying it’s ok to talk about hemp in a different light, is like saying your blood sister and brother is another colour, when they are not.

        Slight genetic variations… but it’s more how it’s grown, cultivated and production thereof that sets the difference between these highly segregated aspects.

    • Buzz says:

      Yeah Tommy, there is so much to be said about the benefits of a liberal cannabis policy.

      “Amsterdam’s Cannabis related revenue is around €1.6 Billion a year, yet Amsterdam’s total population size, is the size of Cape Town’s Cannabis users put together….” Makes you think.

  3. KrisKronik says:

    I will keep my fingers crossed. The ball is rolling slowly but surely. One day my friends, one day.

  4. Dubbed Marley says:

    KrisKronik said:
    I will keep my fingers crossed. The ball is rolling slowly but surely. One day my friends, one day.

    Lets hope it gets out there !! But as you said fingers crossed.

  5. Campster says:

    I do feel we must help give the ball a nudge where we can.. Try forward on the letter or write your own. Just change one persons perception of marijuana when you can (you dont know how many people that person could influence)

  6. Poni says:

    Really good letter, I think if everyone who is for marijuana, had to send in a letter like that to any political party regularly, I think it would start changing people’s minds slowly but surely. If all of the letters are as informative as this one, but each letter about different facts about marijuana. I agree with you Campster.. word of mouth could influence a lot of people.. Keep at it Buzz, you write really well and hopefully you are changing lots of minds in the process! :D

    • Buzz says:

      Yip Poni,
      There is so much to be said about cannabis and its uses. It’s up to us to show how relevant and counterproductive the subject of cannabis prohibition is, even to those who don’t realise how they are being effected by it.

  7. shawn horah says:

    Thank u guys for trying to help us, and she’s trying to get the army to help stop the gang war, maybe they shold jus giove the gangsta’s dome weed wnd there will be world peace, just a thought

  8. Thank you kindly
    Spread the weed, Sow the Seed.

  9. cptn says:

    Has this been sent to the Cape Times yet? It needs to be sent in by its original author for them to consider publishing it on the opinions page opposite the letters

  10. Dan Smith says:

    If anyone reads this who as any power and a brain on their heads they will make something happen! Big respect Buzz!

  11. Alasdair says:

    Say yes to hemp helen, peace :)

  12. Caspertg says:

    Hey as always a below the lion example of how to step up :-)

    @helenzille
    Martin Luther King was of the opinion that the greatest injustice done to a nation comes from poor public health care.
    If citizens are healthy all other aspects will benefit.
    Once a party can make a the health and safety of a country their mission, their mission will become easier.’Caspertg’

    Let’s imagine for a few seconds that only 10% of the research we have seen over the past few years is correct (90% fail rate considered here).
    Would a 10% alleviation on the public health sector (for health issues where cannabis use would be accepted as treatment or cure) not be enough financial motivation to provide this basic and cheap medicine to a country where most people can’t afford meds that are equivalent to cannabis? No? Ok what about the money that will be brought in by r&d companies? Ok so maybe you find the financial aspect of no importance and need other motivation.
    Let’s look at the recent release of prisoners due to over crowding.
    How many of these released prisoners were cannabis related criminals?
    It makes no sense to free criminals that have victims over cannabis users.
    If all the propaganda were true I would have be a serial killer with boobs who is too lazy to work yet will have the energy to manage an entire criminal organization.
    Summed up that’s what cannabis “abusers” such as myself should be. But we not!!!! So does it not make sense to look at the law and get cannabis users (many who are incarcerated for medicinal use) out of jail and put criminals who deserve to be there in that over crowded aids fish bowl.

    Helen zille you have been considered a forward thinker by many supporters and are feared by many opponents for this same reason, so think forward. Do your research (below the lion has some exceptional sources avail to you. The dagga couple have a facebook page that will allow u to view the publics opinions and to see just how much the average person does research)
    And trust me people will lose their respect for you if make a single propaganda statement because that makes us think you think we are stupid,you think we don’t research and when we do we are unable to fathom the results.

    I am confident when I say a politician has a politicians view and need to see things the way regular joe does in order to truly understand.

    “FORWARD THINKING WITHOUT SCIENCE IS JUST IMAGINATION” ‘caspertg’

    All anybody expects from you is to stand up say “PROVE IT”

    • Buzz says:

      Hear hear Caspertg,
      We are a country full of people desperate for medicine but denied it in its most accesable form.

  13. SnickleFritz says:

    I am a 25 years young man living in Cape Town and have been a cannabis smoker for a good portion of my life. I see the value in writing this letter and the need to address the issues that it and other anti-prohibition movements raise. However there is some points that I would like to bring to the forefront and see what kind of responses it can garner.

    As a cannabis smoker I have bought my fair share from dodgy suppliers, as well as smoked some really “kuk” weed that when I eventually came back down to earth, thought, “what the pigs whiskers else is this mixed with?” – so I can really see the value in having licensed distributors: not just so you know what you are purchasing but also the convenience of it all.

    However I do think that sometimes us cannabis smokers almost pull the wool over our own eyes as to the harmful effects of marijuana. Yes you can scour the internet and find research paper after research paper saying just how harmless cannabis is, and no-one has died from it, and other, legal, substances do much more damage. In reality though, cannabis is a drug that alters one’s “normal” state of being. Now I am not saying that smoking a joint is going to make you want to eat someones face. That is kinda silly… but lets not beat around the bush, for some people, weed is bad.

    Im no doctor or psychologist or scientist, but I have lived on earth for a decent amount of time and can only use my personal experience as information for my points.

    Weed as a gateway drug. Bollocks. People are the gateway drug. I have been using cannabis recreationally for years now and I have NEVER moved on to anything “harder”. I have only ever smoked weed and once in a blue moon hashish. I have never wanted to, nor do I think i will ever want to, try anything else. Not shrooms, not MDMA, not coke. Nothing. On the flip side I have seen friends start smoking weed and then move onto harder stuff. But this is not the fault of weed. It is the person and their character. Just like I have seen people who never smoke weed, but dabble in all other sort of goodies. If its in your nature to chase a dragon. By jove you probably will.

    Now i get onto my main point. Weed is not bad for you. Again. Bollocks. Weed affects different people differently. Again I have seen people smoke weed once and suffer incredible anxiety, panic and psychological effects. I have also seen people smoke weed for years, only to all of a sudden realize that it has seriously altered the way they interact with society. And I have also seen people who have smoked weed and continue to smoke weed, with no effect on their personality, ability to conduct their day to day lives or restrict them from being successful. I dont feel this is ever really spoken about.

    Obviously legalization would be rad and smoking a joint without your sphincter going crazy over the thought of being jailed would be amazing. But I do think we must never underestimate the fact that we are dealing with a substance that fiddles with the brain, it is a “drug” and we must accept that.

    Rambling over.

    • Thanks for the support and for the comment! I totally agree with you, weed isn’t for everyone; just like alcohol isn’t for everyone. I think the key thing here is to advocate responsible use amongst adults. We can’t let dealers and the shady underworld dictate what product is being consumed.

      Thanks again for your reply! Very thought provoking.

  14. Dirk says:

    its very simple if man made beer and god made weed.. Who do we trust?? :D

  15. Frank says:

    Health systems around the world crumpling simply because of the greed western capitalists who want to control everything including the producation and comodification of medicines including by products of the herb.
    Ordinary people cant afford various and expensive medicines with containing pivotal herb components simply because the capitalists want to make money at the expensive of our health…Legalise the herb and the life, particularly of the poor would improve through better access to the on and only Tree of Life.

  16. Frank says:

    Health systems around the world are crumpling simply because of the greedness of western capitalists bent on controlling everything including the comodification of critical medicines largely derived from the Herb.
    We, ordinary folks cant afford phony Western concoctions of medical prescriptions but yet when we use the Herb, we are branded criminals by governments/politicians who are in the pockets of mafia businesses running the pharmaceutical industries. We the free and creative world got everything to lose, let band together, smoke a joint and rally behind each other demanding our right to the Tree of Life. If we do not take action now, we will die while the ugly capitalists life all the way to the bank.

  17. Eweez says:

    When discussing marijuana as a gateway drug, here is an important thing to consider: Children growing up are told that drugs are bad mkay, all of them. And they are told that if they take any drug, they will become addicted. Then some of these kids smoke some weed and realise that nothing bad happened and that they aren’t addicted. They then lose trust in the people who told them drugs are all equally bad and think maybe they’ll try something else.
    Surely it would help a child to know that there are different types of drugs, and that if they are going to experiment, that there are ones that will almost guarantee addiction, and others that will just make them giggle.

  18. While I do hope that we will one day live in a world of honesty and common-sense, today or tomorrow is not that day…

    M’Zille may know the truth about the benefits of dagga but she still has to answer to the mighty DOLLAR!! I personally attended a government sponsored discussion on hemp and SAPPI representatives outnumbered everyone else!! Big business will not allow dagga to see the light of freedom and truth (it will see my light though and yours!)
    Sadly, I put my money on Zille supporting big-business and dagga will remain an addictive substance of no medical value, whatsoever.

    But M’zille, if you are reading these comments, know that your courage and integrity regarding dagga will put you a close 2nd to Madiba !

  19. Jeremy Acton says:

    High all,
    I just thought I’d share this, because I don’t think the DA is going to get the picture, not even from Buzz’s great letter and its supporting facts.

    http://daggaparty.co.za/download/Brochure%20English%20Generic.doc

    Let’s see what the response to Buzz’s letter will be. I ask that, if Madame Zille’s reply is not satisfactory to the South African Cannabis Community or Dagga Culture (say it how you like!), you will consider adopting the Dagga Party as your vehicle for Cannabis transformation in Elections 2014.

    Thanks.
    Jeremy Acton
    Leader
    IQELA LENTSANGO: The Dagga Party of South Africa.

  20. Full head a steam says:

    I started smoking the sacred herb when I was 13, mainly as an escape and challenge to the brutal system I was growing in. Later on as I became more politised, I realised the value that the herb provided to the alternative economy, whereby it braught income to those who otherwise would have to surcumb to being a slave for the apartheid system and be nothing but a dis-empowered labour force earning peanuts and treated like monkeys. I generously supported many herbal projects in the Transkei, whereby many families managed to raise their standard of living, and live a culturally rich life while being innovative and daring entrepeneurs.
    40 years have passed and I am still medicating myself. I do not suffer colds or flu, in fact I only suffer a slight tendancy to get sick of society, but then Love prevails and I realise that actually, it is society that is sick. Hence rational and lateral thinking becomes my remedy, not rushing to smoke a Jay to apease my irritation.
    This leads me to comment on what Snickel Fritz said…..

    “Now i get onto my main point. Weed is not bad for you. Again. Bollocks. Weed affects different people differently. Again I have seen people smoke weed once and suffer incredible anxiety, panic and psychological effects. I have also seen people smoke weed for years, only to all of a sudden realize that it has seriously altered the way they interact with society. And I have also seen people who have smoked weed and continue to smoke weed, with no effect on their personality, ability to conduct their day to day lives or restrict them from being successful. I dont feel this is ever really spoken about. ”

    All I can say is..’Location location location’ The society and culture where you ‘grew up’ will have a huge efeect on your experience when you are influeced by the herb, just as much as the society or enviroment in which you find yourself when influenced by the herb. Personally I find that most western societies have become Autistic, whereby they cannot look each other in the eye or greet each other, and they certainly do self-inflict a lot of pain, in fact they are poisening their very lively hood -> Nature.

    My main point, is that due to this outlawed taboo criminalised attitude thge the good herb, I have had to do my own research on my own person, and this has cost me time and health. It took me about 20 years to learn that I did not have to compromise the good aspects by damaging my health by smoking. It then took a few trips into deep inner space to gauge the correct dodis when eating the herb. Once I had that worked out, I could then further study the efects of heating and eating or the simple raw food diet( which is really a Live it, not a diet) Finally I am understanding that there are over 70 different cannabinoids to be found in the various varieties of cannabis.
    Snickel Fritz I must inform you that a plant that has more CBD (Cannabidiol) than THC will be less of a trigger for anxiety. CBD is also a neuroprotective, which I am particularly interested in so as to prescribe it for my clients who suffer from Multiple sclerosis which is the degeration of the myelin sheath around the nerve, while other cannaboids stimulate neural growth. Again other canniboids inhibit tumour growth and others again are anti inflammatory.
    Sigh…. If I knew then what I know now at 53, I would now look 20 instead of 40.
    So yes, we do not know much, and are treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed bullshit. Thank you everybody for your input and stimmulating discussions . Lets keep up the debates and research and…keep up da pressure on di downpresser,

  21. myrtle says:

    Loving reading this thread attached to Buzz’s brief… All spot on indeed. Now I need to go to News 24 and read the naysayers. I love the way the Dagga community in SA is made up of largely lucid, funny, warm folk. Rock on Helen, we’re on our way! Myrtle of the DC xxx

  22. Campster says:

    usertest1 said:
    I started smoking the sacred herb when I was 13, mainly as an escape and challenge to the brutal system I was growing in. Later on as I became more politised, I realised the value that the herb provided to the alternative economy, whereby it braught income to those who otherwise would have to surcumb to being a slave for the apartheid system and be nothing but a dis-empowered labour force earning peanuts and treated like monkeys. I generously supported many herbal projects in the Transkei, whereby many families managed to raise their standard of living, and live a culturally rich life while being innovative and daring entrepeneurs.
    40 years have passed and I am still medicating myself. I do not suffer colds or flu, in fact I only suffer a slight tendancy to get sick of society, but then Love prevails and I realise that actually, it is society that is sick. Hence rational and lateral thinking becomes my remedy, not rushing to smoke a Jay to apease my irritation.
    This leads me to comment on what Snickel Fritz said…..

    “Now i get onto my main point. Weed is not bad for you. Again. Bollocks. Weed affects different people differently. Again I have seen people smoke weed once and suffer incredible anxiety, panic and psychological effects. I have also seen people smoke weed for years, only to all of a sudden realize that it has seriously altered the way they interact with society. And I have also seen people who have smoked weed and continue to smoke weed, with no effect on their personality, ability to conduct their day to day lives or restrict them from being successful. I dont feel this is ever really spoken about. ”

    All I can say is..’Location location location’ The society and culture where you ‘grew up’ will have a huge efeect on your experience when you are influeced by the herb, just as much as the society or enviroment in which you find yourself when influenced by the herb. Personally I find that most western societies have become Autistic, whereby they cannot look each other in the eye or greet each other, and they certainly do self-inflict a lot of pain, in fact they are poisening their very lively hood -> Nature.

    My main point, is that due to this outlawed taboo criminalised attitude thge the good herb, I have had to do my own research on my own person, and this has cost me time and health. It took me about 20 years to learn that I did not have to compromise the good aspects by damaging my health by smoking. It then took a few trips into deep inner space to gauge the correct dodis when eating the herb. Once I had that worked out, I could then further study the efects of heating and eating or the simple raw food diet( which is really a Live it, not a diet) Finally I am understanding that there are over 70 different cannabinoids to be found in the various varieties of cannabis.
    Snickel Fritz I must inform you that a plant that has more CBD (Cannabidiol) than THC will be less of a trigger for anxiety. CBD is also a neuroprotective, which I am particularly interested in so as to prescribe it for my clients who suffer from Multiple sclerosis which is the degeration of the myelin sheath around the nerve, while other cannaboids stimulate neural growth. Again other canniboids inhibit tumour growth and others again are anti inflammatory.
    Sigh…. If I knew then what I know now at 53, I would now look 20 instead of 40.
    So yes, we do not know much, and are treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed bullshit. Thank you everybody for your input and stimmulating discussions . Lets keep up the debates and research and…keep up da pressure on di downpresser,

    Totally agree. People don’t understand that indoor breeding of marijuana has only been taking place for the last 30 years or so and we are only now really starting to understand how to properly grow and medicate ourselves for the best medical benefits. I really think we just need to package our argument right and just keep on slowing converting people because everyone i know that has ever tried marijuana more than once or done any proper research on it will know that this plant needs to be legalised. We can’t waste the health, economic and social benefits it could provide in these times of economic recession and impending health and environmental disasters (AIDS/Global warming). South africa could start producing textiles, plastics, fuels, foods and hemp-crete just from hemp for the local and international market. This would create a lot of new jobs. Also we could legalise medical and recreational marijuana and see huge tax breaks for the government to pump into education and healthcare. Also this would create a lot of new jobs (dispensaries, growers, link industry). Also the recreational legalisation will bring in a lot of tourism. Cape town would be the next Amsterdam (and its a lot cheaper to travel here than there for Americans etc).

  23. Campster says:

    usertest1 said:
    In the case of the conservatives that vote for the DA, maybe they should move to a party that espouses their views. We cannot be held back by those that vote DA purely because there is no more racist National Party. If it’s tricky for Helen then it’s her own career she is concerned with and not the country. It’s yay or nay Helen!

    Stupid, stupid mentality. People vote DA because its the only opposition to the ANC and if you knew anything about politics you’d know having one party have 100% of the vote means they can do literally whatever they want. If there is an opposition the ANC has to consult with them before making decisions.

    Also if its tricky for Helen Zille to jump on the legalisation wagon i shall not be surprised or upset in the least. She has every right to be concerned with her career because once you lose the public you’ve lost them forever so you can’t expect her to just join our cause all willy nilly. Also I’ve heard her son smokes pot but also does some harder drugs (not sure how true this is). If shes aware of it then that wouldn’t be the best first impression for her to get of marijuana. Gonna be very hard to prove to her that the gateway theory is nonsense.

    • Jeanette Gouws says:

      Campster
      You clearly don’t understand how many seats the ANC have in parliament and that even by combining ALL the opposition parties the ANC still has the majority vote.

      • Alex says:

        Jeanette you clearly don’t know much about politics or marijuana. The ANC may still have the majority of seats, but the problem comes in when election time comes; since if a party has more than 60% of votes, this means that they may change our constitution.

        What this subsequently means is the government could do whatever they want. They could make land reclaims without compensation. Which many ANC members have tried to do, but failed as it contradicts the constitution.

  24. etok411 says:

    Campster said:
    Stupid, stupid mentality. People vote DA because its the only opposition to the ANC and if you knew anything about politics you’d know having one party have 100% of the vote means they can do literally whatever they want. If there is an opposition the ANC has to consult with them before making decisions.

    Also if its tricky for Helen Zille to jump on the legalisation wagon i shall not be surprised or upset in the least. She has every right to be concerned with her career because once you lose the public you’ve lost them forever so you can’t expect her to just join our cause all willy nilly. Also I’ve heard her son smokes pot but also does some harder drugs (not sure how true this is). If shes aware of it then that wouldn’t be the best first impression for her to get of marijuana. Gonna be very hard to prove to her that the gateway theory is nonsense.

    You got a good point, I can not stand our current government AT ALL but I actually decided that if Helen does not reply to this letter i will rather not cast a vote in the next election. I know its not the smartest thing to do but I just don’t feel i must vote for a party to run this country who turns a blind eye on us. I might as well vote ANC because clearly they got the same motives behind them. We need a change and a huge 1. This entire hemp and cannabis subject makes no sense at all to be illegal and i think i will vote for somebody who stands up and gives us exactly what we want and need

    • gareth says:

      i honestly think that weed will be legal once Governments can control the supply and tax you on it, “Cape Town” parrow Magistrate Courts i witnessed a Judge release all people’s arrested for possession of Marijuana ‘ they all received the same explanation and warning, That its not A Social Evil as,Tik,heroin Ect. <Also on Wednesday 24 i watched 2 Uniformed Police officers in there Visible Policing unit pull up at the Spar center in Parklands and purchased Tik from a Nigerian in a silver Ford once they left the Dealer then ensured me that they smoke too and i shouldn't worry about them at all. WELL Done Table view police Department for Internally Breeding this evil and applying those members in society, G

  25. Campster says:

    I think you are all putting too much hope into single people in power. The politicians are always going to side with the majority and will lobby on behalf of popular opinion. Just work on slowly changing the legalisation movement from the minority to the majority.

  26. etok411 says:

    The majority refuse to listen to you, trust me i been following Buzz ever since he wrote his first article, i have been there commenting, sending pure facts to people but they refuse to look further. I don’t think this letter is going to change things but atleast its out there so they can see we will fight. I’m just curious to see her response if there is one, thats what counts for me

  27. von zipper says:

    This is not a step towards relegalisation, but rather a measure for awareness.

  28. hippo for 20ing says:

    about a year ago in Pretoria i was waiting for my, . . . . friend to give me some bud and he was late, as usual he told me to wait for him on a specific corner and just up the road i saw him get out of a car that was labeled ANC (had the sticker on the side, “ward ### ect”) after some chat about our exchange i asked him about hash (he has from time to time) i knew he had recently, he told me that he just sold 9g to his last customer and was fresh out, so you put the dots together, oh and this whole thing happened very close to the union buildings (not gonna say exactly were but close)

  29. @campster and etok.

    You both make valid points.

    For me, I feel that the only way to overthrow the ANC is to vote for the opposition. I agree with campster politicians will always side with the majority – else they stand no chance. They’re politicians not activists.

    Also as etok and Buzz mentioned, this letter wasn’t intended to change policy, it’s just to get the coversation out there, and if we’re lucky, have Helen give her thoughts on the matter.

  30. king rex says:

    i don’t know about that Harm of Drugs graph hey? according to it cannabis is when used more harmful to others than LSD and meths. That can’t be true.

  31. Van Wijk says:

    Well done Buzz, causing quite a stir out there!

  32. Ilse says:

    I must say I am very happy that people are bringing this issue to the political forefront and I am completely pro legalisation. The thing that mildly concerns me and has all so recently been brought to my attention is the fact that a lot of people see marijuana activists as slow stoners who just want it legalise so we can all just sit around and get stoned all day. And I must admit that when it comes to the legalisation issues; the freedom as a consenting adult to smoke the stuff does seem to be in the front of a lot of people’s desires. Personally I feel our strongest point of argument in favour of legalisation is the endless potential the plant offers on an industrialisation level and sustainable development, the fact you can smoke it, is just a coincidence really…

  33. Puff the magic dragon says:

    FYI – Helen is forward thinking, she has allowed Hemp seeds to be flown in to SA and authorized the first Hemp crops in the Western Cape which will be ready to harvest this year. But yes the DA and drugs – is a sensitive area. Until cannabis is recognised as medicinal and not recreational, she will have to mind what she says.

  34. Mary says:

    I will not vote DA again, if Helen doesn’t answer. I will have to read her answer as well, and even then, I expect my husband and I will decide to vote for the Dagga Party next election. Every Cannabis user should vote for the Dagga party, at least until it is re-legalized. I will not support the prohibition of this plant any longer, by voting DA or ANC.

  35. Mary says:

    We dont like whisky, wine or hard drugs. For the last 30 years or so- We have smoked Dagga. We are middle aged, ordinary, honest hard working tax paying citizens. We would never manage the stresses of surviving SA today without our puff-a-roo in the privacy of our own home. We arent criminals- why make us feel like we are? Why should my blood pressure and heart rate increase when I see the police cruising the neighborhood? Just have to smoke a j right now. Oh the injustice of it all!

  36. Jamie says:

    Hellen Zille is a forward thinker, so hopefully she’ll take this opportunity to start making change. Other leaders around the world are already making progress.

    “The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana, giving an unexpected lift to an effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to cut down on the number of people arrested as a result of police stops.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/nyregion/mayor-supports-plan-to-change-marijuana-arrest-policy.html?_r=1&hp

    The worst part about being a ganja smoker in Cape Town is the fear of landing up in a cell with a bunch of scary dudes. There’s a lot of crazy stories. If politicans find it hard to openly call for marijuana legalization, they can at least start by pushing for some sort of decriminalizaton. It’s wrong that people who are not harming anyone are being arrested and jailed with dangerous criminals.

    That’s not to say it shouldn’t be legalized in the long run – decriminalization should be a short run goal to try and stop the immoral imrisonment of ganja smokers.

    Free the herb!!

  37. hippo for 20ing says:

    that seems to be the plan to take small steps first it’s medicinal marijuana then/or/and decriminalization and then legalization, that seems to be the route that the states are taking. it’s already medicinal and in some places it’s decriminalized, it’s strange to think that a place like San Francisco it’s been decriminalized for a really long time.

  38. hippo for 20ing says:

    Don’t know if you guys have been reading the news but, Gang violence in Lavender Hill and Hanover Park is the hot topic of discussion, the DA wants the SANDF (the army) to deploy and COSATU and the Police say it’s the wrong idea and are kinda insinuating that the problem should be ignored till it goes away and the anc are just ignoring the problem flat out. well why i bring this up is because reports of gang violence go hand in hand with reports on drugs and dagga if the public is informed of the solution to this problem (a end to prohibition) then it will really speed up the process of legalization in south africa

    • Buzz says:

      Yeah Hippo, also picked up on this.
      Along with your point it struck me how odd it is that just a few months ago the army was called in to help destroy a plantation in a township, but they can’t be used to help deter gang violence.

      So much doesn’t make sense, yet they blindly persist:(

  39. hippo for 20ing says:

    the public needs to be bombarded with the dangers associated with prohibition rather than bombarded with false propaganda about the dangers of dagga, come on DC use your platform and build on it by making statements! this is how we change things by using all this hype around a problem and giving a solution!!! DC should use the publicity and bring more attention to the problem of prohibition

  40. hippo for 20ing says:

    well i don’t think we should dwell too much on if the army should or shouldn’t get involved (im not gonna give my opinion on that and neither should we this way we seem neutral not pro any specific party) the point of our argument should be that the army is a extreme and we need to look at a less violent peaceful answer E.G. a end to prohibition!

    Look at the article this is the perfect example we can use of failed prohibition as a danger to our safety. prohibition causes crime. http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/tight-tobacco-laws-empower-crime-1.1339544

  41. Legalise Dagga says:

    Hello guys. We were inspired by your attempt to contact Helen Zille regarding our favourite friendly plant and have decided to get off the couch and get involved online too! If we make the correct information available to South Africans it could lead to a positive change within our country and change the mindset of many! What we’re asking for is anyone who is potentially interested in helping out with the design, logo, articles and infographics that we’ll make available at legalisedagga.com. If you would like to help please email getinfo@legalisedagga.com. Puff Puff!

  42. 4sak3n says:

    hippo for 20ing said:
    prohibition causes crime.

    This is what gets to me. Sweet and gentle Mary Jane gets vilified as the source of crime when, in what is the biggest case of dramatic irony society has ever seen, actually it is the programs put in place to “protect” us that end up causing the crime.
    Humanity fails …
    Also, on a lighter note, 100 posts! Huzzah! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. ‘Nuff said.

  43. Blazed says:

    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” -John Adams-1735-1826

    1% of the world owns 40% of the wealth. Ganja is free, easy to grow and has many medicinal uses. None of the 1% wants that because most of them have shares in the pharmaceutical companies…

    So which party do we vote for then, if all parties are led by those with monetary power? The underdogs? Keep it fair until word has spread enough for everyone to stand together?

    IMHO, if the Dagga Couple doesn’t succeed at the constitutional court then we sit waiting for the Big names around the globe to wake the fuck up and stand for the fact that the people will be a BILLION times better off with ganja than with this system “protecting” us. Wow, how much damage the propaganda has done…..

  44. Jeanette Gouws says:

    The articles quoted here are EXTREMELY selective. There is a WEALTH of evidence proving the harmful effects of dagga on the body and brain as well as society. Get a life people!

  45. hippo for 20ing says:

    I’d also like to see these studies please share because it must be a very well kept secret?

  46. Dubbed Marley says:

    usertest1 said:
    The articles quoted here are EXTREMELY selective. There is a WEALTH of evidence proving the harmful effects of dagga on the body and brain as well as society. Get a life people!

    The effects of Reefer Madness, it realy is sad. One day your eyes will open to the true wonders this plant has to offer, one day.

  47. etok411 says:

    lol Jeanatte sounds like another Counselor wanting to keep business running! If not, then stop getting your facts off government sites!

  48. Campster says:

    usertest1 said:
    The articles quoted here are EXTREMELY selective. There is a WEALTH of evidence proving the harmful effects of dagga on the body and brain as well as society. Get a life people!

  49. 4sak3n says:

    usertest1 said:
    The articles quoted here are EXTREMELY selective. There is a WEALTH of evidence proving the harmful effects of dagga on the body and brain as well as society. Get a life people!

    Like those beautiful and elegant studies in the 70′s that are still trotted out decades after they were debunked as “proof” that herb destroys brain cells?
    Yeah, turns out if you asphyxiate chimps that their brain cells die off. Who would of thought?
    And this is still considered to be part of your “WEALTH of evidence” (sic).
    I’ll go and dig that up. Give me a few minutes. I’m sure it will go down as well as the embarrassing grandma who farts at the table and tries to take her bra off surreptitiously.
    ^.^
    Edit: here we go: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6251929
    Ah crap, you know what? They don’t come out and say in the study: “Hey guys, we killed off some monkey brain cells by cutting off their supply of oxygen for 5 minutes at a time.”
    Well damn, I guess that that proves it then. I must really be a degenerate drug user destroying my life with a detestable and harmful substance.

  50. hippo for 20ing says:

    that’s called “false science”, when you manipulate the variables to get a different outcome.

  51. Jeanette Gouws says:

    There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see. It seems to me that the pro dagga advocates are just people who cant face the real world.

    • Buzz says:

      “There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see”
      Wise words, maybe you should follow them.

      • Harold says:

        You have no Idea what you are talking about, it is not a case of not wanting to face the world, if that was the case I would use legal drug to do that and not cannabis. I have used cannabis for 30 years partly socially and now medicaly. wheer did you get this inlighment from one of the news paper who to dont know what they are talking about

  52. Mark says:

    usertest1 said:
    There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see. It seems to me that the pro dagga advocates are just people who cant face the real world.

    Trust me, if you do have any evidence, we really really would love to see it!

  53. mreowpower says:

    “There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see.” At the moment jeanette this applies to you massively…stop making uneducated comments because you are amongst intellectuals..I highly doubt you know anything about the medicinal compounds in the cannabis genus as well as hemp? The most sustainable natural product? That can employ millions and create billions in tax revenue…no you just see cheech and chong who were genius’ by playing on a stereo type. So your surnames Gouws? You’re afrikaans wow! I didn’t know you people agreed with technology? Being super christian and all also makes sense you hate cannabis seeing it was made illegal for racial propaganda and afrikaners hate anything not white. STEREO TYPES CAN BE OFFENSIVE OR FUNNY! You decide its not fun when you label us stupid and as people who don’t contribute to society, remember bill GATES did infact inhale ;) please explain what is the real world? We all have jobs (ide hope) we all pay taxes we aren’t violent nor thieving criminals we are normal people living normal lives. I take my dog for a walk just like you do, I drive to work and tip the car guard just like you do, only difference is you go home a drink a glass of wine I go home and smoke a spliff. Its killed no one and has helped me immensely, when will YOU open your eyes jeanette? If this is jeanette from mondeor stoppit.

  54. 4sak3n says:

    Jeanette, I am going to repost something I posted a few weeks ago in an amusingly similar situation.
    It isn’t an argument. And I mean that in the classical sense, viz: a line of thought intended to sway others and change minds rather than the contemporary use which everyone loves to do, viz: a biased, emotion-driven disagreement involving raised voices and very little logic whatsoever. It is merely an opinion that I have and others seem to share as to how we should look at the world.
    Please, please, please, please read it and think about how it applies to our situation. You’re welcome to interpret and use it as you will. Then, after having done so and you still feel exactly the same way that you do, feel free continue to argue (and again, classical sense) as you are doing but don’t be surprised if you end up looking like … well, let’s not go there.
    Ahem …

    Pro tip #4739864.6: if you have a closed mind you won’t ever find proof no matter what research is done because your state of mind precludes it.

    P.S. Many of us are already familiar with and embrace the spirit of that pithy little comment. Hence why we are so familiar not only with pro-cannabis research but also the opposing anti-cannabis research as well! Can you honestly, truly, with all sincerity say the same?

  55. MagicAttack says:

    “There is a wealth of evidence” As you quoted that I think you should at least back it up. The ex dean of UCT Faculty of health services himself has backed the legalisation of cannbis and has stated that alcohol and ciggarettes are worse for you…..So what your saying is your smarter than him and us ? Cos at the moment your arguement is about as thought provoking as watching cement dry. Please don’t take it personal I didn’t.

  56. MagicAttack says:

    “There is a wealth of evidence” As you quoted that I think you should at least back it up. The ex dean of UCT Faculty of health services himself has backed the legalisation of cannbis and has stated that alcohol and ciggarettes are worse for you…..So what your saying is your smarter than him and us ? Cos at the moment your arguement is about as thought provoking as watching cement dry. Please don’t take it personal I didn’t.

  57. Jeanette Gouws says:

    How does the fact that alcohol and cigarettes are more harmful than dagga validate smoking dagga?? That is illogical.(Extreme example – Some people rape babies but I only rape adults!) Laughably if it wasn’t so sad.
    It`s not like the powers that be insist that we use drugs and you are choosing the least harmful.
    My argument is just this: Why not be fully present and in charge of life? It is sad that some people can only face the day once their brain has been anaesthetized. Wouldn`t counselling be more helpful and productive?
    (for the intellectual- tongue in cheek- the definition of an intellectual is someone that has been educated beyond his IQ ;-) )
    Also for the would be politician – the ANC need a two thirds majority to change the constitution 66% not 60%
    4sak3n – thank you for making your point without resorting to petty insults.

    • Buzz says:

      “How does the fact that alcohol and cigarettes are more harmful than dagga validate smoking dagga?”
      - Alchohol and tobacco consumers are using a significantly more harmful substances without being considered criminals.

      “Some people rape babies but I only rape adults!”
      - What does raping babies have to do with cannabis use?

      It`s not like the powers that be insist that we use drugs and you are choosing the least harmful.
      - No, but they let you use the significantly more harmful substances than cannabis without criminal prosecution. If I choose to intoxicate myself, it is criminal to only allow me to use the hard stuff such as booze or cancer sticks.

      “It is sad that some people can only face the day once their brain has been anaesthetized”
      - Who said anything about smoking at the begining of the day? Are you saying that coffee should also be illegal?

      Jeanette, clearly you are not able to substantiate your view on the matter with facts. You are instead trying to make this an emotive subject by suggesting that their is something mentally wrong with cannabis users and comparing us to baby rapists.

      I agree, “Wouldn`t counselling be more helpful and productive?” Clearly you need some.

    • louise says:

      Please if you do have a chance go check out why they legalized drugs in switzerland and portugal-this will explain a lot which cannot be put into words in a argument-because then people don’t tend to listen-due too their ego’s getting in the way…a solution is what we are seeking…everyone I have ever met who smokes cannabis is the most peacefull and reasonable beings…I cannot say the same things about alcohol and cancer sticks….

    • Harold says:

      Jeanette,

      it is not the fact that people want to get up in the morning and get shit faced on a joint, people use for different reason, medical social and so on…

      I know people who get up and have a drink for breakfast which has far worse effect than cannabis..

      Why is alcohol legal if it has such devastating effect on people because its legal..

      I have never heard of some having a joint and then going home and killing his wife and children, where that has happened many times with alcohol…

      Why is alcohol still legal..

      smoking the legal cigs is bad for you, it causes heart problem, lung prolems, cancer of the mouth throat and lungs, causes breathing problems, I have seen my brother on oxegen because of smoking cigs,

      why it legal.

      weed was legal and supplied to the miners before they went to work because they worked harder.

      I Suffer from high blood pressure, normal meds battle to bring it down… 210 / 112… normal BP 120 / 80.

      I smoke one joint and with in 15 min it has come down to 135 / 82. so now what must I do lie down and die cause people like you and the government dont know the facts and see it as a “DRUG”.

      my question to you and all who are like you out there that are totally misinformed about cannbis have you erver tried it do you know how it makes you feel…

      Do you smoke or drink alcohol… do you take medication such as anti- depreants or other mood changing drugs that are prescribed by a doctor.

      dont take this message to person aly it is meant for the people who have no idea what they talking about…

      It is said that weed is the gateway to drugs, this is not totsly true… most yougster round the age of 13 will start to experement with different substances, what is the first one they go for is booze not a joint, why cause its legal….

      I rest my case…

  58. OscarGrouch says:

    for the intellectual- tongue in cheek- the definition of an intellectual is someone that has been educated beyond his IQ

    No

    Definition of intellectual
    adjective
    relating to the intellect:
    children need intellectual stimulation
    appealing to or requiring use of the intellect:
    the film wasn’t very intellectual, but it caught the mood of the times
    possessing a highly developed intellect:
    you are an intellectual girl, like your mother
    noun
    a person possessing a highly developed intellect:
    a prominent political thinker and intellectual

    Again, facts straight please.

  59. OscarGrouch says:

    usertest1 said:
    Did you not notice the wink?

    Evidently not ;)

  60. Dubbed Marley says:

    Winning !!

  61. rory says:

    I am really looking forward to a rational response from Helen…

  62. Adam says:

    Wtf is that graph? Where did you get it from (I cant find a link) and what does it even mean. To prove to me that heroin is less dangerous to an individual then alcohol is going to take more then a graph that shows some made up hierarchy.

    • Buzz says:

      High Adam,
      The link for the full study is provided directly below the graph.

      The link Rory has given below for the BBC article on the study pretty much sums it up though.

      • Adam says:

        thanks for that link, did you just add it now because i swear i never saw it when i originally looked at it?

        Is this research at all taken seriously though outside of people with invested interests in it being accuarate (like yourselves). Because reading it it doesnt seem like the type of thing id feel very comfortable quoting for anything serious. It was a 1 day study where 4 “experts” gave a rating on the harm caused by each drug, there was no research or anything of the sort. To make it worse the experts are not linked to any university or government sector, they are essentially just (be it well educated) civilians, who actually got kicked out of there positions.
        Beyond that assuming the article is accuarate and widely accepted by the industry experts im still not convinced its relevant to your argument on the harms. Remember this article was done to talk about social work needed and not about legality. The reason is is because this article accepts that alcohole is the worst due to the fact that it is the most used drug on the list. If other drugs became as widely used alcohole would drop down on the rankings.

      • Buzz says:

        Pleasure, no sweat man. It was there.

        If those who advocate for cannabis prohibition can quote or make highly speculative claims with no evidence or by intentionally misinterpreting studies, I reckon we can use studies published in reputable publications such as Lancet.

        Some might consider the lack of political or university affiliation as being in favour of an objective opinion.

        Either way, I get what you’re saying.

        Though the study is short and sweet, I think it demonstrates something that we can all agree on… cannabis is significantly safer than tobacco and alcohol.

  63. rory says:

    @ Adam – here is a link to the graph
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210

  64. Campster says:

    usertest1 said:
    How does the fact that alcohol and cigarettes are more harmful than dagga validate smoking dagga?? That is illogical.(Extreme example – Some people rape babies but I only rape adults!) Laughably if it wasn’t so sad.

    Firstly, your comparison between different types of rape and different types substance abuse is illogical. The comparison with alcohol and cigarettes with cannabis is perfectly valid. We can even simplify the comparison by removing cigarettes and leaving it as alcohol vs cannabis. Both substances have forced the governments of the world to force a prohibition on the people but alcohol’s prohibition was cut short because the problems outweighed the benefits.
    If we have a valid argument that legalization of cannabis is more beneficial to human race than prohibition then why does our ,or your, personal bias about the plant have to come into the debate at all? I personally get annoyed that society tolerates alcohol’s legalization without question even though it directly kills thousands of people every year, indirectly affects millions of lives and is physically and mentally addictive. Alcohol is a far more powerful intoxicant and inebriate than cannabis and is far more dangerous yet people like you just shoot down our attempts to form a rational debate about the issue. Obviously you have had some negative experience with cannabis either personally or someone close to you? Otherwise i don’t see how you could have any opinion on the matter.. I don’t try tell homosexuals they shouldn’t lobby for gay marriage to be legalized because it has no impact in my life and i have no idea what negative effects the current laws have on homosexuals.
    Just out of interest Jeanette do you not drink any alcohol, caffeine or alter your mind in any way? Just curious if you walk the walk or just talk the talk..

  65. bud-lover says:

    The thing that I love most about BTL is the fact that we are able to have rational, logical discussions while using validated scientific research to shed some light on the effects of the prohibition as well as the benefit that Cannabis as well as Hemp could provide to our country. I don’t say this because I prefer smoking a joint as opposed to having a few drinks after a long day at work, but because I believe that cannabis and hemp would be useful for a number of reasons that have already been mentioned in this discussion. Renewable fuel, food, tourism, clothing etc. etc. However, Jeanette, you have not, in any way shape or form brought a rational discussion to the table here. Please come back when you have a reputable source for these claims, I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

    • Logical John says:

      Great respond B-L

      People like Jaenette is the reason prohibition is still in action. They are sheep that trust and believe all the propaganda on TV and lies spewed forth by politicians.

      Even if you keep cannabis illegal and just legalize Hemp. The world would be a better place. You’ll save the forests, clear up plastic pollution, create billions of jobs, just to name a few benefits, but no, corporates will not make any money from that. And mindless sheep like Jeanette will help them keep it illegal.

      Until we can find a way to fill the elites’ pockets through the use of this wonder plant it will never be legalised.

      Sad but true.

      Take 10 minutes and do your own research. The facts are out there, black on white. If you take 10 minutes of your time to actually look for it.

      • bud-lover says:

        Thank you L-J

        I agree completely, and helping to line the governments pockets certainly would be a viable reason to justify changing the current laws, however, we have already found a way, if you consider that in 2006 alone after the medicinal marijuana laws were passed in California the U.S government generated over 1 billion dollars in tax through cannabis sales alone, not hemp.

        Now I am no mathematician, but 1 billion dollars equates to R8 180 200 000 or so, and remember, this is through taxation of CANNABIS sales alone, not hemp. Now my point being this, if we took this “money” generated from taxation of cannabis sales alone and we do not even need to include the extra income generated by foods, oils, fuels, clothing, paper, eco-friendly plastic etc. etc. How many text books could we buy? How many houses, hospitals, schools can we build? Just food for thought.

      • Logical John says:

        South Africa is not ready to legalise this plant. Sadly, this is a very conservative and close minded country.

        That’s why I believe Hemp and Cannabis (although being the same plant) should be treated separately. Hemp for its industrial properties and 0 negative effects. Cannabis for its medical reasons.

        The prohibition laws are an obvious fail and costing tax payers (the few that there are in SA) billions while select companies are making billions. Drug companies make money with the drug tests. Prison system makes money stocking up on open minded people leaving more sheep in the public. etc. So its a win win win for those in power.

        We have to be smart about legalizing. Facts means nothing if the big heads dont make a profit.

      • bud-lover says:

        Maybe not for legalisation, and yes, the unfortunate fact is that a large portion of our fair country can be extremely closed minded regarding subject. It’s just extremely unfortunate that this topic is barely even available for discussion amongst the people in power.

        I agree, they should be treated seperately, though they may be the same species of plant the two sides of the topic could not be further apart.

        Yes, we do have to be smart about trying to change the current legislation, and facts do count, they count to help us inform the ignorant of the truth, as well as providing a valid ground for a change in legislation to occur.

        Some of these facts being that with the legalisation or decriminalisation or whatever stance you choose to take or support on this matter, that with the addition of these “new” products on the market there will be a rise in people needed to maintain this market. Farms need people to maintain them, some sort of facilities will need to be created in order to process hemp and turn it into clothing, plastic, fuel, food or building materials, stores will be required to retail these items. All of the above mentioned would help to create jobs for our people, all of the above mentioned facilities would need to be monitored and taxed, in turn putting more money into our governments pockets and in an ideal world they could use these new found resources to better our country.

  66. OscarGrouch says:

    …everyone I have ever met who smokes cannabis is the most peacefull and reasonable beings

    I have to disagree based on my own experience. Marijuana smokers are an incredibly diverse group, ranging from loud arrogant aggressive assholes to incredibly introverted, peaceful zen-like yoga hippies. You evidently haven’t met THAT many marijuana smokers

  67. hippo for 20ing says:

    don’t think marijuana smokers can be classified into one group of people it’s like saying all people that drive vehicles are. . . . . . there might just be some people that are more open about their actions and are better known/associated with smoking of cannabis.

  68. mreowpower says:

    I smoke marijuana and I can be quiiiite the cunt

  69. McB says:

    mreowpower said:
    I smoke marijuana and I can be quiiiite the cunt

    first off,admire your honesty
    Secondly,same here :D

  70. samurai says:

    I’ve been on the legalize it path as long as i can remember..and still the struggle continues. Numerous people, when asked why they think dacha is illegal i got the same response from smokers and non smokers..”it’s a drug, it’ a gateway drug or simply it’s the law of the country”.
    No one can honestly say why this herb, weed or simply a plant was made illegal and put on the same shelf as cocaine and heroin and mandrax.
    My extensive research has given me overwhelming light about this magnificent weed.
    What we doing is righteous but the question is why and for whom, and i can proudly say that we doing this for the well being of our fellow countrymen and of course not forgetting ourselves as individuals.
    If you noticed the way i spelled DACHA it is derived from the san people and only much later the boers change the spelling to DAGGA.. emphasizing on GA [not nice,not good].That was the dawn of criminalizing dacha which was used by humans for thousands of years, whether for medicinal purposes, smoking or even everyday use eg.rope, shelter etc.
    That being said iv’e been following all sorts of web sites, documentaries and most of all peoples opinions and comments.
    There’s a saying that goes “start at home” or ‘vee eerste voor jou deur”..so in my own capacity iv’e been spreading my views to close friends and family, after all knowledge is power and should anything happen to anyone in the course, there next of kin will know exactly why.
    W ether we like to admit it or not we up against a far sinister power that exceeds our government in present time.
    Call me paranoid if you wish but it’s the truth..My opinion is that we should steer away from the smoking scenario and expose the real reasons why we as people in an African country should abide by international laws that we were bullied into because certain individuals predicted what the outcome would be should dacha be legalized..
    Lets look into the facts – dacha needs only water and sunshine to grow and in any region you find yourself in. In turn people with one crop can produce fuel, food ,clothing and medicine etc…
    FACT – people in power don’t want a self sustainable society that empowers themselves, they want good working citizens dancing to there tune with there sick agendas and list goes on.
    I can go on and on but this is just a tip off the iceberg.
    This is a quote from an interview with the late great Robert Nesta Marley :-
    journalist = “they’re saying ganja is illegal because it makes people rebel”
    Bob Marley = “Rebel… against what”.

    People will only rebel if oppressed, in this case we are being oppressed economically..and the illegalization of dacha was orchestrated by people that has more than peoples health on their mind.

  71. Dubbed Marley says:

    Couldnt have put it any better !!

    “FACT – people in power don’t want a self sustainable society that empowers themselves, they want good working citizens dancing to there tune with there sick agendas and list goes on.”

    Thats the biggest problem i have. Peoples eyes need to be opened and this plant allows you to do that.

  72. jen says:

    i have never heard of a man hitting his or kids on the stuff.

  73. Batlex says:

    ***Buzz***

    The article was great and I thank you greatly for being so active in the attempt to legalize cannabis. I am very busy at the moment and do not have time to read through all the responses, so I ask you; If/when Mrs. Zille responds, please could you create a new thread for the response. Weeding through all of these comments will give me grey hairs.

    Eat. Sleep. Puff.

  74. Kompeuter Kat says:

    Well done, Buzz. However, I think you have as much chance of receiving a reply from MsZilla as you have of communicating with the Nazis on the dark side of the moon.
    The only contribution I will make to the addiction debate is this: the most addictive substance of all is definitely oxygen: one whiff at birth and you’re hooked for life. It is also extremely toxic: as little as 1ppm mixed with any other gas is fatal. The problem with oxygen is that, once it enters the bloodstream, it has to be taken in massive overdose amounts or the victim of the addiction will die. Many who have tried to quit “cold turkey” have simply stopped living, yet nobody on Earth has yet tried to ban its use. Talk about hypocrites!

  75. apollis says:

    If we look back for what we have lost. for not legal hemp we have lost what money cannot buy lives of leaders in south africa please MR PRESIDENT of the african south people

  76. Kompeuter Kat says:

    Well
    done, Buzz. However, I think you have as much chance of receiving a
    reply from MsZilla as you have of communicating with the Nazis on the
    dark side of the moon.
    The only contribution I will make to the addiction debate is this: the
    most addictive substance of all is definitely oxygen: one whiff at birth
    and you’re hooked for life. It is also extremely toxic: as little as
    1ppm mixed with any other gas is fatal. The problem with oxygen is that,
    once it enters the bloodstream, it has to be taken in massive overdose
    amounts or the victim of the addiction will die. Many who have tried to
    quit “cold turkey” have simply stopped living, yet nobody on Earth has
    yet tried to ban its use. Talk about hypocrites!

  77. Man says:

    You and I all have the right to smoke and eat what we fucking want! We pay the taxes, we are not sheep. We are owed services and not injustice. FUCK the law that is UNJUST. I for one do not recognize it and think that it is fundamentally ethically wrong to even obey the law because it is unjust. Drug scheduling worldwide does not benefit the masses, only the bottom-lines of big pharma. It does not make our drugs from the store or street safer. It just wrongfully criminalizes us for doing something which is our right in the interest of profit and political control. This country is made up of many kingdoms that smoked for a thousand years before white man and his stupid fucking laws..

    How long do you think these nations are going to take to realize that they have every fucking right to cultivate Cannabis Sativa/Indica hybrids for medicine export to fair trade legal market of which there are a few already? Fuck helen zille and zuma and all the rest of them. They stand by while we are imprisoned unjustly. IT IS MY RIGHT TO SMOKE AND GROW ZOL AND FUCK YOU IF YOU DONT LIKE IT. I WILL DO IT TO MY GRAVE. IT IS MY RIGHT. YOU WILL HAVE TO KILL ME TO STOP ME.

  78. mreowpower says:

    Some angry folk…

  79. McB says:

    Indeed,deep breath peeps,anger closes channels of communication faster than censorshi….

  80. McB said:
    Indeed,deep breath peeps,anger closes channels of communication faster than censorshi….

    I see what you did there -.-

  81. mreowpower says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha -_-

  82. nathi says:

    god created this,its is natural.they dont want to legalise weed because it will be a non profitable product as it is planted and has no chemicals added…so there is nothing to negotiate,legalise marujuana.80% of people in south africa smokes this,and theres nothing they can do about it but to legalise it.legal or illigal but still we smoke and drink it…

  83. Man says:

    Why take a deep breath?

    Like how about take a long good hard look at what is going on…and has for along time.. If that does not make you furious when you realize the truth, you are spineless and subservient. How many? MILLIONS..sorry TENS of MILLIONS of lives have been ruined by their respective governments over a beneficial, beautiful and benign plant.. Just to make some richer and others poorer. It is a fucking crime. A global, gross abuse of human rights on a scale that makes the DRC, the holocast and apartheid look small compared. Wake up. DOPE is illegal BECAUSE it is so helpful and has such a high safety versus efficacy margin. It is illegal because it is such a potentially competitive industrial crop.

    And every smoker sitting in jail pays the price to maintain the political and economic status quo, which ultimately is not for their benefit and they pay the bill throughout with taxation and often end up paying the ultimate price. All to keep DuPont and Bayer and co. in profit. Sick. It makes me fume and fell ill, all at the same time.

    And lest we not forget, it is the same companies that ply us, and saturate our environment, with their carcinogenic products AND both THC and CBD have been now shown in double-blind clinical studies, published in peer-reviewed journals, to kill cancers and tumors. We even understand the mechanisms fully now for crying out LOUD!!! So get the picture.. The sheep and lemmings are being led off the cliff.. and not all of us. And YES it makes some of us very angry and we see it ALL playing out and most are not even aware.

  84. OscarGrouch says:

    Angry stoner has returned!

  85. mreowpower says:

    Hahahahahahahaha

  86. sizwe mahlangu says:

    how many accidents caused by marijuana how many people are killed in our roads by users. the theory of marijuana being the gate way for drugs is a lame excuse thou might be true lets face the facts in SA most disastrous events alcohol is involved how many cases of drunken drive do we have register. the one thing that God had forbiden was the tree of differentiating between good and bad is marijuana that tree?

  87. Aubrey John DeBliquy says:

    Dr Dreher did a Cannabis research project in Jamaica commisioned by the USA. This study followed the progress of 30 cannabis smoking pregnant mothers and 39 pregnant mothers who did not smoke at all. The children were examined according to a predetermined standard and found the cannabis smoking mothers had babies with significantly improved score compared to the children of non smokng mothers. Needess to say when the report came out the government cut their budget. Cannabis legislation in the USA has been conceived in racism and sustained through blatant government sponsored deceipt, and has been exported worldwide with coercive bully policies which have left most countries with no choice but to follow the leader or risk costly trade sanctions. The successful demonising of this miracle herb has left politicians reluctant to risk their support base by openly expressing the truth. Cannabis use is a human rights issue under artical 2 and 3 of the UN declaration of human rights, relating to cultural discrimination and the right to life respectively. In this victimless crime, the victim is the accused and his inalienable human right to make choices for his own happiness and health, and the crime is the law.

  88. B1llHicks says:

    http://www.endalldisease.com/spain-study-confirms-hemp-oil-cures-cancer-without-side-effects/

    “Marijuana cuts lung cancer tumor growth in half, a 2007 Harvard Medical School study shows.[vi] The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.”

    Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
    This is no play play University.

    Funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia. The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research even though the researchers “found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”

    The COMPLETELY IDIOTIC ABSURD RACISTS WASTE OF MONEY called the “WAR ON DRUGS” is the reason people are dying PAINFULLY around the world when a naturally growing abundant completely benign plant could cure them without side effects. What the f#@$% is wrong with people??? When a person says to me that Marijuana has no healing properties I just want to slap then upside the head. REALLY?? go read a bloody book man! This shit has been studied since the SEVENTIES and has been suppressed from mass media since then. Why? Cos of some racist bloody Drug Tzar in the US and his old world views.

    Marijuana, whether Hemp or full of THC is NOT dangerous and is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY less dangerous than that lovely taxable drug called Alcohol, which in my opinion has made me more wasted, abusive and embarrassing than I have ever been on LSD!!!

    Which bring me to me last point. Reading this you must think, hmm what a useless stoner druggie. Really? So after 10 years of daily marijuana and half yearly LSD use I should be some strung out waste of space. Yet I am a hardworking, successful, caring individual who has a normal loving family and in the words of Bill Hicks:”Never murdered anyone, never robbed anyone, never raped anyone, never beat anyone, never lost a job, a car, a house, a wife or kids, laughed my ass off, and went about my day.”

    So what the f#$%^ is the problem??? Marilize Legiauna!!

  89. Molapo says:

    I’m not a dagga smoker, only interested in hemp farming, …but Jeanette where are your facts, you sound like someone who just says what they overheard without actually intrisically looking for subtantial evidence beyond a shadow of doubt…..where are your facts ?

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  91. Romulus says:

    People, you need to STOP waiting for a politician to FREE you when it comes to using cannabis! It became illegal under dubious claims and I feel We The People as a collective should just take back our damn power. Remember, the bureaucrats were elected by US! My suggestion? A MILLION Man/Woman cannabis march right in front of CDA HQ to show them who’s boss!

    We can learn a lot from the valiant Egyptians last week where they had the biggest protests in world history: 33 million pissed off citizens chased Morsi out of office. It was a coup by the PEOPLE!

    I’m not from South Africa, nor do I know how passionate the cannabis community is there. But I’ll tell ya something, numbers matter! Politicians, police & the bureaucracy are POWERLESS in front of a peaceful protest of over a MILLION voters who say boldly ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    Soooo, how badly do South Africans want cannabis to be legalized?? Most politicians are made from the same cloth: unreasonable & illogical. Show ‘em who’s BOSS!

  92. lowrider says:

    Well said romulus. We are the boss of our own destiny. Fuck it. Free the weed.

  93. JBotes says:

    There are so many people using weed recreationally and responsibly, I don’t understand how it can be viewed as any worse than alcohol or cigarettes, as the mental and physical health risks are so much less. I’m not saying people can’t become addicted to weed, but like alcohol, a society of open and educated use will teach people some of the real negative consequences associated with its use, and not the fairy tales we are taught in school. By legalizing alcohol society at large is able to learn how much is okay and how much is too much. In the current SA the average person has no clue of these boundaries in relation to weed, even thought millions of South Africans use it daily

  94. Hello world. cannabis has many benefits. i am Indian and appreciate its medicinal properties. but I’m also a Greenbuilding consultant and Valuer and see the advantages of using it as a carbon sequestrator in green-buildings. knowledge is power and the net is exploding with possibilities.
    Someday i hope that people will be using the green property network to list fantastic greenbuildings.

  95. [...] Kaylan show what we at BTL have heard on more than one occasion from leaders within the party; The Democratic Alliance’s current leadership is based on a dictatorship of outdated politicians who are so caught up in [...]

  96. [...] Public Letter to Helen Zille : Cannabis in South Africa If you’re on twitter, click the below button to tweet this letter to Helen: Tweet to @helenzille. Dear Helen, There’s something wrong with the world today. Sources : Public Letter to Helen Zille : Cannabis in South Africa [...]

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