New Year Update 2015

By |Published On: January 22nd, 2015|

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As we move into the last week of January, this is probably the “latest” New Year greeting you’ll get! Happy New Year Fields of Green for ALL! Here in the office we’ve been reeling with the pace of the start of this very important year. 2014 ended and 2015 started with hardly a break in between as years of work start to pay off and our various projects start to “come of age”. Just to remind you of the role of this organisation in the greater Cannabis legalisation movement: “Fields of Green for ALL is an electronic platform that serves as a clearing house for information in the Cannabis constituency. It serves as an information and activity exchange and as such is an evidence provider for the trial of the plant.” We are soldiering on towards this all important trial which, depending on the readiness of all parties concerned, will be set down for the latter part of this year. We encourage all our supporters, members, affiliates & partners to take note of our overall strategy – the trial of the plant across all four platforms.

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All discussions around legalisation of Cannabis in South Africa should start with these four platforms. Fields of Green for ALL was named with these in mind (full credit to Jeremy Acton of Iqela Letsango, The Dagga Party of South Africa, for the idea). We are reorganising the menu on our website to make this, the foundation of our arguments, more clear.

1adult_useOr we could call it Responsible Adult Use. This is the apex of our argument, the umbrella that shields the other 3 platforms from the blinding glare of the African sun! Adult Use is a term that MUST replace the commonly used term “recreational use”. The term “recreational” is loaded with innuendo and visions of your stereotyped “stoner” on the couch surrounded by empty fast food containers and a play station console. “Adult Use” takes care of the “What about the children?” refrain. The whole point of legalisation is to take this plant out of the hands of unscrupulous traders who never ask for an ID and sometimes peddle tainted products. Adult Use also covers the right of every South African to grow their own plants for their own personal use and to use the plant in the privacy of their own homes without fear of criminalisation.

2trad_cultural_etcThe Cannabis plant has been used in Southern Africa for over 600 years. An overview of the history is outlined in the short film “Dagga: The Truth” which we hope all of you have seen by now. The Cannabis plant is the sacred sacrament of the Rastafari religion and this gentle culture are often the most persecuted and marginalised for their use of the plant. Traditionally, the economic benefits of the trade in this plant are well documented. Currently, we have the situation where, for example, a group of elderly women in Northern KZN who care for orphans are subjected to frequent harassment by the police. Or, in the words of one of our members: “Die Dagga sit die kos op die tafel” (The Dagga puts the food on the table). This platform covers Community Outreachprogrammes and dialogue with traditional healers and leaders so that ALL South Africans are included in the conversation as we keep a watchful eye on the greedy corporations who are already sniffing around like wolves at our door. There are also moves afoot to spread the news of our campaigns through the rest of Africa but more about that as our plans take shape.

3industrial“Hemp” is a no-brainer. The fact that there are hundreds of industrial uses for this plant is well known and there are thousands of applications yet to be researched. The three year Western Cape hemp trial is nearly complete and provides useful insight into what is needed for growing this crop in SA. The trial permit process on government level is surrounded by controversy & misuse of funds but, despite this, Fields of Green for ALL will persist with our plans to establish a credible Highveld Hemp Trial. We would like to prove that conditions in the north are as favourable as in the Western or Eastern Cape and give those interested in developing the industry in this area a chance to participate in the process. We may not get approval for this trial but everything is in place and we will keep everyone in the loop with our progress. It is important to note that Fields of Green for ALL has no intention of participating in any mud slinging when it comes to failed trials in the past. There is plenty of evidence of what went wrong and people profiting from the process but right now it is time to look to the future. The Industrial Cannabis platform is the simplest to argue and receives little or no resistance from the prohibitionists.

4medicalThere are thousands of South Africans using Cannabis for a wide variety of dis-eases. The Medical Innovation Bill, due to come before parliament for debate again in February is supposed to be dealing with this issue but there have been many bumps in the road, particularly since the death of Dr Ambrosini. There are even some reports in the media that it is “dead in the water”. Just the mere fact that this issue has been brought to the attention of parliament is a good thing. Some politicians have bleated that there are “not enough studies” so we have a team of researchers putting together everything that they can find and we have a channel to present it to parliament at the next sitting. However, Fields of Green for ALL’s stance on this bill is very clear. Who is going to play God? Who is going to decide which citizens are sick enough to use this plant? We have lively discussions on The Green Network around this issue and while we are keeping our distance from politics, we watch with interest to see what happens in February. We say grow your own medicine if you can but, if you can’t, let us keep it out of the hands of the pharmaceutical companies.

So the next time someone asks you about our plans, you start by explaining the four platforms. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!

Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!


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