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Progress Report: Good News on the Road to Legal Cannabis in SA

Progress Report: Good News on the Road to Legal Cannabis in SA

South Africa is waiting patiently for an answer from the Constitutional Court as to whether our government must change our outdated, racist Cannabis laws.

In the meantime…

Fields of Green for ALL, on behalf of our JoinTheQ Dagga Arrest Helpline, has written to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA, Advocate Shaun Abrams) and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP, Advocate M.A Chauke, Gauteng Division) requesting that ALL prosecutions that fall within the “privacy” judgement handed down in the Cape Town High Court in March 2017 be put on hold pending the outcome of the state’s appeal. Any court that persists in prosecuting will be held in contempt of court. You can read the letter from our JTQ advocate, Adv James Grant (and our covering letter stating our demands) here. It is a matter of urgency that we fight to stop arrests and, more importantly, the mandatory incarceration of non-violent Cannabis users, traders and cultivators. In other words, stop locking us up in cages!

Even if the Con Court comes back with a broadly positive judgement, it will still take at least two years for the transition from criminalisation to regulation. That is a lot of arrests, considering that the police are still locking up stoners at a rate of at least 600 a day. The vast majority of arrests result in at least one night in the holding cells. A night you will never forget. If we can get a directive for all prosecutions to be stayed at Magistrate’s level then we have some hope of getting the police to stop locking us up.

And so many people think Cannabis is already legal in SA? 

One of the accused who came to us for help was granted a stay in prosecution just last Friday. This brings our total to 73 Stays in Prosecution that have been granted in 6 of the 9 provincial divisions and 7 of the 15 High Courts in South Africa. This is an exhausting, expensive procedure, especially when the accused stays hundreds of kilometers from the nearest High Court. An example of this is 3 cases we are helping in Pofadder, Northern Cape. Their nearest High Court is in Kimberley, 600kms away. Enough is enough. We are all equal under the law.

… And further afield…

Shifts are starting to happen at the World Health Organisation in Geneva. The WHO advises the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Fields of Green for ALL attended CND61 in Vienna in March and expanded our network to include activists who are REALLY making a difference in the bloated, medieval world of international drug policy.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, organized citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

This quote helps explain why a small group of volunteer Cannabis activists are in the position to address the WHO and its commitments to reframe international Cannabis policy.

 Monday, 4 June 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun to repair a Century-old injustice: The prohibition of Cannabis. This 40th meeting of the Who Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, whose job is to update drug treaties based upon evidence, was entirely dedicated to reviewing Cannabis, for the first time ever.”

We salute our friends in the pic above for captaining the civil society ship. Our affiliates at FAAAT Think and Do Tank worked around the clock to consolidate a joint statement from a wide range of organisations. Fields of Green for ALL was among 14 NGOs chosen to present to the committee:

And we’re saving the best news for last…

South Africans have the opportunity to have their say in what we want legal Cannabis to look like. Proposals for the Legal Regulation of Cannabis in South Africa are open for public comment and discussion. You can’t get what you want unless you KNOW what you want!

Looking forward to your feedback… Hard copies are available inside our Infopack at the FGA SHOP.

Nobody is free until we are ALL free, thanks for your ongoing support.

Myrtle, Jules, William, Jo & Charl.

 

 

 

 

 

2018-06-11T13:57:18+00:00

10 Comments

  1. Peter June 12, 2018 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Hi Guys,

    “You can’t get what you want unless you KNOW what you want!”

    If you only knew how true that is. Some of us really know what they want.

    See you soon I hope. Lots of explaining to do.

    Love

    Medicine Man

    • Myrtle Clarke July 12, 2018 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Thanks Peter and thanks for your comments via the site. It’s all being noted and we hope to chat to you about it in person soon. Will be in touch.

  2. Andre du Plessis June 13, 2018 at 10:02 am - Reply

    The only way this can be put to the public for all to be able to comment fairly and the comments to be monitored and made sure they receive equal opportunity is in the news24 example below.

    Where the PMG does the actual submissions.

    I personally habe no faith in any other form of public comment, government has shown with the Medical Innovation Bill that public comments can be swept aside multiple times.

    https://m.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/final-week-to-submit-your-comments-on-land-expropriation-20180611

    • Myrtle Clarke July 12, 2018 at 8:01 am - Reply

      Hi Andre,
      Yes that will be at a later stage. We are running comments directly from our website as this is only a discussion doc, the bare minimum so that we can be sure we have all the headings before filling in the blanks. My first draft of this was much longer with much more detail but then I decided to pull back and just present the main points for comment at this stage. We are working on getting as many comments as possible and taking it a chapter at a time. Really looking forward to YOUR comments and/or submissions for the extended chapters. We value your experience and have to look very closely at our strategy the closer we get to that dreaded “portfolio committee”.

  3. Ashwin July 12, 2018 at 8:44 am - Reply

    like im so tired of hiding and smoking….like damn…i still have a solid mind set, i still got my degree and im still moving forward in life, Cannabis has never derailed my future dreams in any way, in fact i feel that there were days when after taking a puff i actually felt more motivated and determined to accomplish my goals.
    People think dagga is this cray drug that messes with you in the long term…hello i been smoking since a teen, i am now 33 years old, i passed my matric well and headed to university and completed my degree….so did cannabis make me stupid…DOM????..Simple answer is hell no it didn’t, it just made more determined and motivated.
    In the first place cannabis should have never been labeled as a drug, i despise the individual or group of individuals that have categorized cannabis as a drug…they prob dead,IN HELL 🙂
    Because when one dies and goes to heaven, guess what he/she sees?….. FIELDS OF GREEN FOR ALL 🙂

  4. Wendy July 19, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I think it should be free for all to grow and use (maybe with an age restriction – like alcohol) but NO GMO’s – only organically grown

  5. Edward July 21, 2018 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    In terms of section 35(5) of the CRSA which deals with unconstitutionally obtained evidence, South African jurisprudence largely follows the Canadian approach set in their Charter. Does that mean that courts in South Africa will soon follow the Canadian approach on recreational use as well?

  6. Lucy July 26, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Hi Mertle,
    Thank you for updates,The fight is still on.
    You have all our suppport,I hope to see you soon.

    Keep updating.

    Tnx

  7. Mcoseleli July 26, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

    The SA government is delaying its own progress by not freeing usage of Marijuana. Can you imagine the revenue SARS would have gotten by now if this was freed a couple of years ago? We probably wouln’t have had to ask the Chinese to bailout ESKOM!! Now South Africa is bent down on its knees begging for bailuts – from Chinese nogal!! Sies!

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