Cannabis Can Help South Africa

This article was originally published on 21 Jan 2019 and was updated on 20 June 2020.

2020 has turned out to be an interesting thing and who’d have thought that we’d still be telling people: “Know your rights!”?! It is now more important than ever to know where you stand with the law, because it turns out that most police don’t even know your rights (or take advantage of them) – especially when it comes to their favourite, easy targets: the Cannabis community.

What was originally our Join the Q project, has since evolved into #StopTheCops – honestly, someone has to! Here we gather stories of ordinary citizens, treated and made to feel like criminals, because of their involvement with dagga. We often found that this situation could have gone differently if the now-criminal knew their rights at the time of the bust / arrest.

This is why we cannot emphasise enough how important it is to Know your rights!

Our #CannabisCanHelpSouthAfrica campaign has not only focused on gathering signatures for our petition to re-legalise dagga, it is also about educating our community and empowering each other to strive for fair regulations for ALL South Africans!

One of the bizarre thoughts that went through our minds as Judge Zondo read out his landmark judgement in September last year was “Oh good, we can close down our JoinTheQ project and we’ll never have to write another version of our Know Your Rights booklet again!”

It wasn’t to be. We’ve just completed VERSION ELEVEN!

What started out in 2011 as “The Puffer’s Guide to (NOT) Being Arrested” grew from a home printed booklet to a slickly designed pamphlet, a dedicated website and a staffed project helping those in trouble with the law.

JoinTheQ was born in 2013 out of the fact that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. Over the years we helped 107 South Africans achieve a stay in prosecution pending the outcome of The Trial of the Plant. Those stays in prosecution are still in force as The Dagga Couple’s Case is not over yet.

You can still be arrested for Cannabis in South Africa. Even for small amounts for your personal use in your private spaces. Even for personal cultivation in your private space. It will take a very long time for the police to stop harassing us, profiling us and locking us up in cages. However, there have been many cases, since the judgement,  where the police or magistrate has dismissed the case because it is clear that the accused knows his/her rights.

Our latest booklet is available to read, download and print HERE. You can also order hard copies as part of our Info Pack (also includes stickers, a Desired Outcomes discussion document, etc) at the Fields of Green for ALL shop.

We strongly recommend that you also keep a copy of the Constitutional Court Judgement at home and in your car. Read it and know what it says.

Be safe out there. DO NOT SMOKE IN PUBLIC and we still recommend that your paranoia keeps you safe. We are not quite there yet but promise to keep fighting until we are ALL free to use, possess, cultivate and trade in our favourite plant. Fields of Green for ALL!

Cannabis Can Help South Africa