The harms of the prohibition of Cannabis far outweigh the perceived harms of the plant and the trade therein. This Bill constitutes the continued prohibition of Cannabis by giving the police undue power and, by doing so, guarantees that Fields of Green for ALL would like to think that, particularly given the current Covid-19 pandemic, our government would be putting the needs of the most disadvantaged in our society first.
Unfortunately, this Bill excludes the “poorest of the poor” – people who live in informal settlements and many in our nation’s townships and urban areas do not have private spaces where they can grow Cannabis safely and securely. On a positive note, though, the Cannabis Bill does make provision for the automatic expungement of all criminal records for convictions for possession of Cannabis in terms of section 4(b) of the Drugs Act. However, we know from our record of dealing with Cannabis arrests, that there are thousands of wrongful arrests for “dealing” and there does not appear to be any recourse for these victims of prohibition.