The 2020 Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill and The 20 Principles for the Responsible Legal Regulation of Cannabis

By |Published On: September 15th, 2020|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

Our activist friends at the International Drug Policy Consortium released a striking infographic this week on how to responsibly regulate Dagga. We realised this would be the perfect measuring stick for the current proposed Bill, so we took a closer look to see if it compares to our proposed legislation model.

 

When it comes to health and human rights for Cannabis users, they definitely will be getting the short end of the stick. One would think that our rights, public health, access to Cannabis medicine, liberty and freedom to continue the autonomy of the unregulated market in a regulated way would enjoy preference when it comes to new regulations. Instead it seems that first and foremost our government wants to still invade our privacy to count our plants, lock us up and fine us for our medicine, traditions, socks and adult use.

The Bill is particularly lacking when it comes to social justice. There is just no provision for any healthy Cannabis economy as the constant pointless plant counting and arresting of growers and users will stifle the community involvement, hinder transport, discourage small growers, and exclude traditional healers. It offers no solution as far as reparation of past mistakes and prevention of repeating them goes. 

There is no allowance for any trade, even though the unregulated market is thriving. How can the lawmakers not see this? While research and medicine is allowed for the chosen few, but any trade remains prohibited, we will still have the constant arrests, plant counting disputes and ongoing legal red tape that will arise from the implementation of the current Bill. Only the lawyers and corrupt officials will benefit from this. On top of this nobody would want to remain in a market pointlessly controlled and manipulated by our brutal police force who knows nothing about Cannabis.

The Bill makes absolutely no provision for the protection of women against exploitation and abuse. The majority of arrest victims are men, leaving women and children at home, and families without the income from their cannabis harvest cannot afford to feed or send the kids to school. As you read this 6 foreign national men have been unconstitutionally kept behind bars since February 2018, without a trial, for growing Cannabis. Their wives and kids are left at home. The media only publishes bust reports or stories about the bill, while human rights violations like these always get covered up behind the scenes. Proper legislation should be inclusive of all genders while promoting harm reduction and equality of all people.

Lawmakers need education. They need to listen to the public and look at civil society’s feedback through petitions, surveys and polls. Evidence based drug policy should reflect the scale of harms. We thank our affiliates at The Transform Drug Policy Foundation for their dedicated work and inspiration in the compiling of our manifesto

For more information download The Principles Of Legal Regulation booklet or read the full report.

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About the Author: Charl Henning

I've been working with Fields of Green For All and Join The Queue Dagga Arrest helpline since 2014, assisting with general admin and arrests/ court paperwork.

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2 Comments

  1. Lucas Geldenhuys September 16, 2020 at 6:50 am - Reply

    I have a dream where this country is being governed by open minded adults instead of mindless, corrupt, uneducated, criminal children caught up in adult bodies.
    I have a dream where, in this country, a person does not need to fight for their rights because the laws are designed to protect the citizens instead of the criminals and where the law allows the citizens to protect themselves. Where we are free from the international goal of a “one world government”, where we are finally free from the lies of big pharmaceutical, petroleum, tobacco and alcohol companies who in unison with world governments tries to dumb down the world’s population with the intent to make of us “mindless robots” to work for them like slaves.
    I have a dream where communism and socialism is completely irradiated, destroyed and the very idea thereof is outlawed.
    I have a dream where cannabis farmers and all people within the cannabis community are welcomed into society. I have a dream where none users arrive at a point of awakening whereby they will welcome the cannabis community and teat us with the respect we’ve treated them for centuries.
    I dream of legislation that’s logical and effective, a country free from corruption, a police force which truly protects the people instead of the government and their own pockets.
    A country free from racism
    A country I can once again say I’m proud to be a part of.

    To all the people at fields of green, thank you for your good work, you’re all in my prayers.

    • Simone September 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      “I have a dream where communism and socialism is completely irradiated, destroyed and the very idea thereof is outlawed.”

      Don’t you realise that communism and socialism are the only things that can save us from the predatory, inhuman capitalist system? You want freedom and liberty, but capitalism will never give you those things. Capitalism is inherently a brutal and destructive system that serves only the needs of the wealthy few at the top while exploiting the labour of the majority. You need to educate yourself some more and stop falling for the capitalist propaganda that keeps us enslaved!

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