South Africa Parliament Introduces Bill To Legalize Dagga

The Medical Innovation Bill, a bill to legalize Cannabis in South Africa for medical, economic and industrial purposes, was introduced in parliament today.

The bill was submitted by Member of Parliament, Mario GR Oriani-Ambrosini from the Inkatha Freedom Party. The Medical Innovation Bill aims to make provision for innovations in medical treatments by legalising the use of cannabis for medical, economic and industrial purposes.

Last year Oriani-Ambrosini was diagnosed with stage four, inoperable lung cancer, which forms the background to this bill. People with life-threatening diseases such as cancer are legally denied access to a medicine that they could be growing themselves. Under current legislation, medical practitioners are legally denied the right to prescribe proven to be effective and harmless medication to their patients, which includes cannabis, on the basis that it hasn’t been approved in terms of the legally required double blind clinical studies.

However, such studies are often considered “economically” unviable. The profits in the pharmaceutical industry come from patents, and cannabis, a plant that’s in the public domain, can’t be patented. Oriani-Ambrosini said that millions of people were going through the hell of being a cancer patient, and die and suffer, possibly unnecessarily, because government was not funding research and expediting approval for treatments where there was no profit to be made. This results in unnecessary human suffering and death on a mass scale, with consequent immense social and economic costs.

That’s where the bill comes in. The bill’s objectives are to establish one or more research hospitals where medical innovation can take place, especially with regard to the treatment and cure of cancer. The bill would also legalize the medical, industrial and commercial use of dagga in South Africa in accordance with emerging world standards. The bill creates a dispensation that would only permit doctors in research hospitals that are authorized by the Minister of Health to prescribe and administer cannabis based medicine to South African patients.

Cannabis as a treatment for cancer has been well documented in the scientific community and the world is catching on; every day there are more and more cannabis and cancer success stories surfacing online. Last year Ambrosini publically stated that he was pursuing an alternative treatment to his cancer, and he had been doing so for a while. “At this point, I shall not speak or vouch for such a treatment, nor discredit it. My death or survival will do so”.

We certainly do live in interesting times.

The bill is available to view here, and the public is invited to comment. Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Watch the video of the bill being presented to parliament:

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About the Author: Sticky Scissors

Co-founder and editor of Below The Lion. Hippie with a haircut. Appreciator of fine herbs and spices. Nature lover. Animal Lover. Skateboarding is not a crime. Proudly South African.


216 Responses so far

Want to say something?


  1. THENDO says:

    Since I had to use it,I don’t remember going to the doctor like I used to before I started using it……if it be legal sure lot will be cured from many diseases

    • Good day

      I believe dagga have many medicinal properties, and can assist in the creation of many so called up and coming black farmers (JOB CREATION)for the sole purpose of planting dagga for exports and local medicinal markets.
      I also think that Government must give NGO companies a license to plant dagga for the purpose of research for the above mentioned farmers.

    • Kim Isaacs says:

      Hi Thendo, I am doing an assignment about marijuana and the Medical Innovation Bill would you mind leaving me your email address so i can askypu some questions about this, please?

  2. joseph says:

    I use to have asma but now i do not have any more.

  3. Fred Oberholzer says:

    A look at a USA based website http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=1325 where the pros and cons of the use of medically prescribed cannabis / marijuana is discussed does not according to my observation of the discussions of the people who vote against it, provide adequate proof that it is either toxic or dangerous. The advantages of the use thereof is overwelming. I vote a big YES for the legalising of cannabis/ marijuana for medical purposes.

  4. Igada says:

    Even kings smoke it so i thnk its gud lol

  5. Mo Makau says:

    It’s a well known fact that cannabis users are mostly peaceful and rational people, whether it’s part of the effects of cannabis or not I don’t have the medical research to prove it but I say “LEGALISE IT” we have enough boozers and drugies running our beautiful country to the ground…

  6. Donald says:

    i’m falling in love with mzansi allover again

  7. Ryan Aidas says:

    i say yes, this could be the start of something that could be profitable for our country, i am really interested in pursuing a career in the study and production of medical marijuana.

  8. Edith says:

    I have been smoking for 50 odd years ! I don’t use any medication whatsoever ! I don’t wear glasses. I am almost 65 and still fit and healthy ! Brain and body still very active ! I vote to legalize weed please !!!!!!!

  9. why why why.you can drink your alcohol so it is fair to say let ppl who wanna use cannabis use it.one question what did weed do to you minister bcoz boost make me babbalas

  10. Wongalethu xaji says:

    Legalization of marijuana woule be the greatest thing to have happenned to Africa after the coronation of His Imperial Majesty.it would be a new lease on life for many Africans,it would be a difining moment in the freedom of South Africa as a country and a people.saying we are free from the apartheid and all its law which still bid so far.

  11. Peach says:

    i wonder if someone would be able to prosecute the government with an abandoned and malignant heart murder for not legalizing medical dagga, since there are people dying unnecessarily because they are being denied effective treatment.

  12. eL-Tee says:

    Why not legalize Cannabis? Bob Marley is the world most well known star and peacefull guy that smoked weed. Cigarette and Alcohol are the most dangerous drugs that resulted in more than beyond deaths, whereas weed has non but instead it cures diseases and make people humble, civilized and well collected. It would be stupid not to legalize Cannabis because we will smoke it either ways. Yes to weed.

  13. Nick says:

    I don’t know how it hasn’t been legalized already when alcohol is legal. There are probably no/very few weed related deaths ever, compared to alcohol which has frightening statistics. It’s just a plant, how can something like Ritalin be prescribed to so many children across the world and be legal when they don’t even know how it works yet, but a natural plant like weed is illegal. I’ve never known anyone to become aggressive after smoking weed, while even the calmest people get into fights while drunk. Pleeease legalize weed South Africa

    • Joel says:

      I agree completely! Alcohol and tobacco are one of the leading causes of death/injury/health issues worldwide, but are legal. I’ve never heard of death by marijuana. Smoking it would make it as harmful as tobacco products but smoking is not the only way to consume it. I vote for complete legislation of this plant to be used in any manner by any individual.

  14. yugeshen says:

    The memembers of the government shud try smokn weed so dy knw wat we talkn abt I don’t knw how weed bcame illegal in the 1st place how can u make sumthng dat is made by god illegal and plus it has never killed any1 b4, but watever the ace is we don’t realy care coz we not going to stop smoking, if url don’t smoke weed I don’t knw wat ur are doing with ur lives

  15. kieranphillips says:

    I really want Mary-j to be legalized because wtf… If alcohol is legal then why not mary-j… I mean it has much worse effects on you. Please please please legalise marijuana !!!

  16. Prince says:

    It is a good innovation espcially in these tough times. Economically marijuana could either cripple or boost or revenue but if strategies are put in place then we can rest assured for success,like legalizing it in a few portions of south africa so that persons who don’t need marijuana dnt get unecessary access to it. If the specific location is chosen then that location should be filled with business opportunities that will benefit our economy(Las Vegas Type of place)

  17. Anonymous-A says:

    I think to be honest it can be a profitable margin for our economy. I have never seen someone smoke marijuana & so much as harm a fly. The most dangerous part of smoking marijuana in South Africa is getting caught. I’m all for legalization of marijuana. Let the cops deal with real issues & fill the prisons with real criminals. Your choice is who you choose to be & if your causing no harm then your alright with me.S2

  18. Legalize Jah herbs says:

    Dont critisize it

  19. Bonginkosi Kemet Ndebele says:

    It is evident that too much of anything or any substance is bad for a person’s well-being, therefore legalisation of weed is vital n neccesary to save lives. Do guns kill people or do people kill people???

  20. Tron says:

    One of the huge issues that is not being hi lighted is the fact that legal growing of dagga will lead to hemp production.
    This will effect the huge cotton industry and upset the balance of power with all the uses of hemp that will displace other existing industries.
    South Africa has the ideal climate for hemp and dagga.
    (We also have existing dagga farmers)
    We would become the leading producer in the world.
    Fully legalising dagga will lead to many things.
    40% of prisoners in our jails are on dagga related charges because stoners are an easy bust. they put up no resistance and the cop gets a bust to their credit.
    This means less prisoners. Less state funds spent. Cops have more time to go after REAL criminals. Stoners wont have criminal records.
    People will have access to a fantastic health product.
    Maybe some people will stop drinking and be stoners. (less violence etc.)
    WE MUST FULLY LEGALISE OUR HERITAGE DAGGA PLANT

  21. Yelap@bi says:

    I do marijuana not drugs.before you judge me,Make sure your hands are clean

  22. Ella Brett says:

    I have noticed I am much happier and loving in general when smoking. It will brin South Africans together!! Hemp grows at a much faster rate than trees so we will be greener! Can be exported to the world. Its a plant… a simple plabt… How can it be illegal? Id rather be around smokers then drinkers. We will hVe so much less car accidents on the rd. Alot less cancer patients and unneccesary deaths. More jobs. More love :) BRING IT ON SOUTH AFRICA!!!

  23. kwazi says:

    marijuana should be legalize in this country because it has got no negative effect but only positive one and alcohol is the one that plays with human minds but its legal and the useful drug is banned what is that

  24. adeyemo says:

    Just legalize it mara! hurryyy

  25. [...] contradictory debate regarding marijuana legalisation (see the videos below!). It was attended by Dr Mario Ambrosini, Dr EV Rapiti and Matthew [...]

  26. Claudia Sandra Wilson says:

    If only I knew, I would have cured my dad from cancer, long ago!!!

  27. Reality Check says:

    Keep it illegal. Keep big pharma and Monsanto and other GM giants away from it. We are taking good care of Ganja. What has government ever taken good care of huh? NO. Do NOT give them weed. You will kill the little growers in Swaziland and the Transkei as big farms steal their bread. Big, mechanized, pesticide riddled farms. It is not medicine if you go put a chemmy sauce all over it.

    Keep it illegal. Just tolerate the patients. Just that, a policy by police to not arrest sick people for smoking. It will suit us all.

    But please, vote against legal weed. It is a BAD idea like California and Colorado smokers are learning. Prices are better, quality is very low.

  28. Mark says:

    I have studied the cannabis oil subject for a few years now and when my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer my journey began. I first discovered The Rick Simpson oil and made some for her. I am glad to say that we cured her of her cancer and she is about to leave on her first holiday to Bali now that she is cancer free. Subsequently i have refined the oil extraction process and produce the purest extractions of high CBD non psychoactive or psychoactive oils depending on the ailment. I am currently treating a number of people with varying illnesses with great results and i am also working closely with a growing number of doctors who want to remain anonymous at present but we hope legislation will change in time. Despite the risk and the fact that i could go to jail for 25 years for trying to help people that our current system has failed does not change my conviction. I will continue to do this for people who need this oil to the best of my ability with or without the so called authority. Lets keep healing and giving people the information they need to help themselves.
    Mark

  29. Debbie says:

    I like the idea that it can be prescribed as many people I know benefit from it regardless of the legality but would get very sick if locked away for it – however if it becomes something that is too commercialised it loses its naturalism and neutrality and price become compromised – any way rather a smoker than a drinker be!!!

  30. Codioh says:

    SAVE LIVES, LEGALIZE IT

  31. Wanda says:

    My Friend has one bad lung that looks like its 50 years older then him, he smokes this every morning to help him breath better for the day i dont know why but it works he stopped smoking for a week to see if it was making a diffrents and the first 2 days his chest was so tight he could hardly breath i know some people use this plant wrongly but its so much better and healthier then the shops or bottle stores.
    I hope they can do something to help the people out there who has to suffer every day because the to scared to be on the wrong side of the law, people lets stand together and make our voices heard!!!

  32. Kyle says:

    i don’t understand why the government and this world needs to be selfish. All they want is money and if Cannabis was legal, they would lose out on quite a bit. Even so, it should still be made legal because it helps thousands out there, even me

  33. Kelz says:

    Herb is a healing of Nations.#jahbless

  34. Tiago says:

    If you look at Amsterdam, they have legalized it except they just put certain laws on it so that it can’t be exploited. The Netherlands has made tons of money and has attracted millions of tourists to their country just to go down to Amsterdam and smoke weed. We could be putting South Africa out there as well as helping all the medicinal marijuana users.

  35. wilie says:

    I am using it for more than 12 years it has helped me through multiple operations and I go to dr very little,ITS NATURAL and doesn’t kill anyone rape any one or is addictive

  36. Kristy says:

    We as South Africans should vote to decriminalize both Marijuana and hemp.
    We should start focusing on utilising these plans for greater use, marijuana is not just about getting high it’s a way of life, like people taking a multi-vitamin every morning.

    Hemp can be utilised for an incredible amount of industrial purposes such as Hemp creed (used as an affordable alternative to concrete housing), Hemp oil and pups as a source of vitamins, clothing (Hemp clothing is twice as fire retardant as denim) , paper (hemp consist of 83% cellulous which paper is made of against wood consisting of 36% cellulous).

    We can do so much for our country just by taking this one step!
    Low cost housing will last longer and be cheaper to build. Cancer, MS, depression, and so many other diseases can be managed even cured by the use of marijuana.

    If you want an awesome informative movie watch “What we can do if we grow” on youtube

  37. IreMan limpre says:

    . am surviving victim of Asthma and testimony of weed now its 8yrs free from short breaths

  38. [...] debate to be found in what was predominantly a poorly researched and contradictory bashing of the Medical Innovation Bill, something which the author and sourced expert knew practically nothing about yet saw fit to give [...]

  39. [...] debate to be found in what was predominantly a poorly researched and contradictory bashing of the Medical Innovation Bill, something which the author and sourced expert knew practically nothing about yet saw fit to give [...]

  40. sakhile says:

    Good day to all. Well let’s take a look at how many people die simply becouse of ciggaretes and no one seems to be noticing that. I don’t know if its me or is our goverment blind becouse the ligalization of cannibis in south africa will boost our economy dramatically. This might be a shocker to all of you but I started smoking cannibis since I was 12 years old and have I died? No I’m here telling you the wonders its done for me. I’m even able to concentrate and think way better. For all those who think cannibis is bad I pray you find the light and actually come to an understanding that such things are gifts from God which were put here for a purpose. People are literally dieing yet the cure is right in our face its like dieing from thirst with a bottle of water in your hand. I just want the goverment to see what they doing to our people and when will it take them to come to a conclusion becouse people are still dieing out there.

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