Cannabis and the Sustainable Development Goals

By |Published On: February 9th, 2019|


The South African Cannabis “scene” has become somewhat of a circus of late. We are in that messy transition between a movement and an industry and the soap opera gets a new episode each day. There’s new clowns, mother-in-laws, crooks, bean counters and mad gardeners fiddling with the plant and squabbling with each other.

Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Under the banner of “Leave no-one behind”, the United Nations has been banging on about Sustainable Development Goals for decades. They also keep moving the goalposts so now we have the SDGs for 2030 on the table.  Although the goals are unrealistic to achieve in their entirety and are considered a spectacular failure by many, they provide a bigger picture that is a useful framework for how the legal regulation of Cannabis can benefit society.


These are the goals:

1: No Poverty

2: Zero Hunger

3: Good Health and Well-being

4: Quality Education

5: Gender Equality

6: Clean Water and Sanitation

7: Affordable and Clean Energy

8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

10: Reduced Inequality

11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

12: Responsible Consumption and Production

13: Climate Action

14: Life Below Water

15: Life on Land

16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Our international affiliate organisation, FAAAT Think & Do Tank has been using the SDGs as a tool to guide policy and scheduling reform. They have published a discussion paper “Cannabis & Sustainable Development” as well as “The Crimson Papers” around the rescheduling of Cannabis at the UN.

This is all quite dry policy stuff but our eyes were opened when we attended FAAAT’s International Cannabis Policy Conference in Vienna in December. The SDGs can be brought down to earth if you just look at them as guiding principles. Think of all the ways that, directly and indirectly, Cannabis can help South Africa become a better society.

Think of how YOU can use your involvement in the Cannabis Industry, the Cannabis Community and the Cannabis Marketplace to make the world just that bit better.

Then get off of social media and do it! Make a difference today.

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About the Author: Myrtle Clarke

Everyone here on TGN should know who I am!

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  1. PHEPHSILE MASEKO February 16, 2020 at 7:39 am - Reply

    morning Myrtle. Compliments.

    I would like to invite you to come do a talk in Mpumalanga on Cannabis and the sustainable development goals. The summit is planned for March 24 and will send you more details via email

    • Myrtle Clarke February 17, 2020 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks Phephsile, we’ll look out for your mail…

  2. Nkosinathi Ngcobo February 15, 2019 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    we need to work together to teach one another how to use canabis for health and medical use.

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