Is this something that you want to stare at over the holiday season?
We hope that you find the featured image of this blog post suitably revolting. This is what you will encounter if you are arrested on a Cannabis charge. As we said in our 2015 TEDx talk in Cape Town, we will never forget the smell of that police holding cell. It does not matter if you are in Cape Town, Joburg, Polokwane or Pofadder, you will be treated as sub-human, you will be made to feel scared, angry, humiliated and helpless. You will be locked up in a cage and, if the police get their way, they will lock you up in a cage with hardened criminals for as long as they possibly can.
It is all very well that our case is progressing through the courts but our inbox is FULL of arrest stories, cries for help as citizens are drug tested at work and lose their jobs. Then there are the unfortunate souls who signed an admission of guilt, never being told by the police that they will be stuck with a criminal record that is almost impossible and very expensive to expunge, even after 10 years. Unscrupulous spouses use Cannabis use as an excuse to withhold access to children, we even had a case where a mother was forced to take her week old baby for a drug test.
With our limited resources and the limited resources of the majority of South African citizens, it is impossible to help, or even reach, the majority of Cannabis arrest cases. What we are seeing is a gross violation of Human Rights, a travesty on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. We stick by our figure of 1000 arrests a day. The number quoted in the Constitutional Court last month was 45000 arrests in 2016.
So what do we do? Firstly, get it out of your head that Cannabis is legal in SA. It is NOT, in ANY form. Not for medicine, not in the Western Cape, not even Hemp.
Secondly, get it out of your head that there are licenses available. No licenses have ever been issued, despite the MCC’s Guidelines for the Cultivation of Cannabis and Manufacture of Cannabis-Related Products for Medicinal and Research Purposes being released the day before the state’s appeal in Western Cape High Court judgement was heard in the Constitutional Court. The manufacture of pharmaceutical grade Cannabis is complicated and very expensive. These guidelines are only for the very rich and the state is still fighting us in court over whether Cannabis is medicine or not. By all means apply for the license if you have the money or want the MCC to be the boss of your business.
Thirdly, tell everyone you know about our first and second points above. This will save us many hours of answering questions and leave us more time to work out a plan to stop the arrests.
People who have an interest in Cannabis or the Cannabis business would do well to spend their time getting ready for legalisation in a constructive way by noting the following points:
- Look at the featured image again. Do you want anybody you know, or even anybody you don’t know, to be locked up in a cage for Cannabis?
- Nobody is free until we are all free. There cannot be one law for people making medicine and another for everybody else.
- Be an active citizen if you feel strongly about this Human Rights abuse. Find out How You Can Help on The Dagga Couple Website. Do everything on the list.
We are looking forward to a break over the holiday season but we KNOW that the police will only be doubling down on arrests at this time. We also KNOW that the steady stream of cries for help will not stop because it is holiday time. We will reply to all emergency messages but please know that the best way to make the best of a bad situation is to KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and contact our #JoinTheQueue Dagga Arrest Helpline if you or a friend gets into trouble with the police.
Be safe, hide it like your life depends on it and have a peaceful and rejuvenating break…
Myrtle, Jules, William and the FGA, DC & JTQ team.