The state seems to think that “Cannabis can be grown in small spaces, including in pot plants on balconies or windowsills and in backyards of townships and informal settlements”. They were not joking, they were showing us their ignorance when it comes to Cannabis.
I am 50 years old and I have yet to see or smoke windowsill Dagga. It’s a false prohibitionist notion. You simply cannot grow two meter high trees on a windosill. Real privacy is a luxury. To rely on the “Privacy Judgment” alone is an insult to our right to equality under the South African Constitution. We are nowhere near evidence based regulations and this situation we find ourselves in continues to allow for human rights abuses of, especially, the majority of South Africans who are economically disadvantaged.
Also, in the state’s answering affidavit in The Haze Club case: “… dealing is a serious problem in this country and the dealing in Cannabis is a justifiable limitation of the right to privacy”. Well, I beg to differ. Have the respondents considered the reality on the ground? Clearly not. None of the Soweto residents we spoke to saw “dealing” as anything problematic. On the contrary, they saw it as the only way to acquire any Cannabis at all. To say that dealing is a problem is overstating the harms of what is a safe plant.
This is also echoed in the moral judgements made in the proposed, unconstitutional (in our opinion) Cannabis Masterplan: “… the illicit market – fueling a crime-prone underbelly and networks of individuals operating outside the realm of ethical and moral behaviour.”
We ended our day in Soweto with a delicious meal at a wonderfully relaxed local venue where we listened to some local jazz and chatted to the owner about Dagga!
I offer the following solutions to what I saw in Soweto:
The corrupt, ill-informed South African Police Service need to be weeded out from our Cannabis industry or at least trained to stop ALL the pointless, ongoing arrests.
Dagga private Clubs could go a long way to offer access to safe, clean Cannabis in townships and informal settlements. I do believe the system could work if somebody could just take the initiative. Clubs will provide access to safe and clean Cannabis as well as bolster local Stokvel initiatives. Even after trade in Cannabis becomes legal in South Africa, clubs could play an important role in the townships and informal settlements. The South African Cannabis community want to TRADE LEGALLY in our favorite plant and “Kasinomics” trade in the “healing of the nation” is a good thing, not a problem. Everybody is trading already, but the burden of illegality remains.
WE ARE NOT FREE UNTIL WE ARE ALL FREE! Fields of Green for ALL!