The last few days have been exciting as the public hearings on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill and the National Cannabis Master Plan (NCMP) got underway via Zoom and our Parliament’s YouTube channel
The programme shows a wide variety of stakeholders but most presentations brought the up the issue of the stakeholder engagement not being wide enough. This is particularly evident in the fact that no consultations were made before either of the drafts were published – both the Bill and the Masterplan.
All of the presentations were interesting and relevant but we would like to make special mention of the folks we work with and those who we resonated with. We encourage you to watch their presentations to get an idea of the scope of the hearings:
- Jeremy Acton and Ras Gareth Prince (OGs and as eloquent as ever)
- COSATU (Many strong, relevant points made)
- Centre for Child Law (Thank you for standing up for the children)
- Schindlers’ Paul-Michael & Andrew (We love you!)
- The Growers Club (Thank you for the mention and we have lots to talk about)
- Green Smoke Room (Standing up for our seeds – Jordyn you rocked!)
- Umzimvubu Farmers’ Support Network (We love you too!)
- Cannabis Trade Association Africa (Hard hitting and well researched)
Watch our presentation below or HERE.
Download the script and slides as a PDF (1MB)
Fields of Green for ALL’s presentation is from 2:33:58 and we invite all our supporters to watch and consult the programme to watch the others. We started by asking the committee to accept the submission of our Manifesto as it was not ready in time for the submissions last November. Following that we received many encouraging comments around the Manifesto and its importance in the procedures going forward.
As the proceedings drew to a close yesterday, we breathed a sigh of relief as most of the presentations, if not all, rejected the Bill. There seems to be some confusion around the NCMP as the two pieces of draft legislation / regulation are talking about different things. Namely, one prohibits trade and the other permits it. A major point that we attempted to get across was that both should be taken back to the drawing board and redrafted into one succinct approach that is, of course, based on real evidence and in line with our Bill of Rights, our Constitution and Human Rights in general.
The other main points we stressed were:
- Stop the Cops
- The harms of prohibition far exceed the perceived harms of the plant
- Nothing About Us Without Us
- Please use our Manifesto as a guiding document
- No plant counting
- Cannabis prohibition is the last apartheid law
- Good People Disobey Bad Laws
I would like to thank everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement during this nerve wracking time. Thanks especially to Keith, our designer from Merch on Demand who whipped up some last minute magic on the presentation. Big gratitude also goes to Robyn, Ami and Charl for all the support on the ground, making endless cups of coffee and rolling the spliffs to keep me going.
This is a momentous development and Jules would be proud!
Keeping it extra green…