Wishing our Cannabis Community Happy Holidays!
Fields of Green for ALL will be taking a break from Friday the 8th of December until Monday 15 January. However, our 24hr Arrest Helpline will be operating throughout the holiday season – 063 1740938 – PLEASE DO NOT THINK THAT CANNABIS IS LEGAL IN SA(yet)! If you are carrying, stash your stash as if it was 20 years ago. If you are growing, keep it private. If you are trading, keep it EVEN MORE PRIVATE! Know Your Rights and download the SAPS Directive of August 2023 and the Constitutional Court Judgement of 2018 if you have any sort of relationship with the Cannabis plant.
2023 The Year of the OG has been a remarkable show of what can be achieved when we work hard and keep fighting for Fields of Green for ALL!
This year has been a challenging one, but we cannot deny the small victories along the way. We finally started to see years of steady work bear some promising fruit. Fields of Green for ALL, our Affiliate companies, local aligned Organisations and our Dagga Private Club family have collectively shown that we are not sitting around waiting for things to happen.
Before we close, we will join activists from around the world in celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and attend Thematic Discussions online at the UN in order to plan ahead for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March 2024.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped to ensure that Fields of Green for ALL is able to continue to do this work. We are pleased to report significant progress in our three focus areas:
This year we welcomed our new legal team from Cullinan & Associates on board. Paul-Michael Keichel and Ricky Stone continue to steer our ship through the rocky weed waters with expert skill.
Trial of the Plant 2 – Resurrecting Myrtle’s case in Pretoria remains a very real prospect. Not a week goes by when we don’t think it is time to go back to court but it will be interesting to see if 2024 allays some of our fears that we are not going to get evidence-based Cannabis laws and regulations in South Africa.
We haven’t said goodbye to Schindlers Attorneys as Pierre van der Merwe, together with Advocate Malcolm Lennox, is representing Burny Enever at the Labour Court of Appeal. The appeal hearing was held on 31 October and we await judgement.
The Haze Club Case
Fields of Green for ALL was admitted by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein as Amicus Curiae – Friends of the Court – earlier this year. Together with the appellant, Neil Liddell, we wait “patiently” for a court date early next year. Although, strictly speaking, Dagga Private Clubs should be legal after the ConCourt judgement, we continue to see clubs, and particularly growers, raided by the SAPS. Both Neil and FGA have paid dearly to see justice done in his case, which has been dragging on for years. However, we are very grateful for those who have supported Neil’s Back-A-Buddy campaign and our Dagga Private Clubs project.
Interdict Against the South African Police Services
The South African Police Service persists in denying our Cannabis Community our Constitutional and Human Rights by unlawfully arresting us and locking us up in cages. Most cases are thrown out by the courts, but only once the damage is already done. Fields of Green for ALL is still considering pursuing this interdict through the courts to ensure we are protected from law enforcement officials abusing their power to destroy the lives and livelihoods of participants in what the government has called “ a very promising sunrise sector”.
DRUG POLICY REFORM
As the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill trundles its way through the system, Fields of Green for ALL was honoured to be given a seat at the table at the Phakisa Action Lab in June. Various academic and Cannabis-focused studies emanated out of the Phakisa and other esteemed institutions during 2023. Rigorous work on bolstering our evidence and educating law makers all helps to reduce the ultimate barrier to legalisation – stigma. Attending Africa Drug Policy week was another highlight of our year. Drug Policy Reform is multi-facetted and our work is spurred on by the conviction that Cannabis is the gateway drug to more evidence-based policy as a whole.
Cannabis is a plant of global significance and we celebrated 2023 as the “Year of the OG” by sharing our story of progress in South Africa and networking with activists from all over the world. In particular, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, various African and South American countries, the USA and Canada.
As we look forward to a summer’s rest, we remain on full alert for our governments’ next move in the New Year. We already know that we will be submitting more comments on the CPPB in January!
From the early days of The Dagga Couple to telling our South African story around the world, Fields of Green for ALL has always put the engagement with ALL at the top of our agenda. From fighting for the right to broadcast The Trial of the Plant to keeping African Cannabis on the international agenda, we could not do this without EVERYONE who supports us along the way. 2023 saw our support grow across all platforms and it is only through this that we are able to continue to fight for our collective Human Rights, Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Reform. Thank you!