San­ca warns a­bout dan­gers of dag­ga

George Herald - - News - My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz

The South A­fri­can Na­ti­o­nal Coun­cil on Al­co­ho­lism and Drug De­pen­den­ce (San­ca) says Tu­es­day 18 Sep­tem­ber, the day w­hen De­pu­ty C­hief Jus­ti­ce Ray­mond Zon­do ru­led that it is not a cri­mi­nal of­fen­ce for an a­dult per­son to use or be in pos­ses­si­on of can­na­bis in a pri­va­te spa­ce, was a sad day for South A­fri­ca.

De­ni­se de Beer, di­rec­tor of San­ca Ge­or­ge, says ac­cor­ding to a 2017 re­port by the Wor­ld He­alth Or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on, South A­fri­ca has the hig­hest per­cen­ta­ge of ad­dicti­on in the wor­ld. "The re­sour­ces to ad­dress the needs are few and far be­t­ween and not a­de­qua­te."

San­ca war­ned that not all dag­ga boug­ht is cle­an dag­ga - of­ten it is la­ced with va­ri­ous ot­her d­rugs that cau­se the acce­le­ra­ti­on of the ad­dicti­on pro­cess, as seen with ny­a­o­pe (main­ly a mix­tu­re of dag­ga and heroin).

S­mo­king and u­sing can­na­bis in one's per­so­nal spa­ce could vi­o­la­te the rig­hts of child­ren in terms of the Child­ren's Act.

The stricter to­bac­co ru­les pro­po­sed in the To­bac­co Draft Bill furt­her con­tra­dict this ru­ling, as it seems that pa­rents could be char­ged if s­mo­king ci­ga­ret­tes in a vehi­cle with an un­der 18-y­e­ar-old in the car, and that the­re is a ban on s­mo­king in any en­clo­sed com­mon a­re­as of a mul­ti-u­nit re­si­den­ce.

San­ca main­tains that can­na­bis is not harm­less and could ha­ve he­alth con­se­quen­ces. The fact that one thi­rd of all pa­tients tre­a­ted by San­ca u­sed can­na­bis al­o­ne or in com­bi­na­ti­on with ot­her sub­stan­ces tes­ti­fies to this. In­ter­na­ti­o­nal stu­dies strongly sup­port e­vi­den­ce that can­na­bis is the 'ga­te­way drug' to ot­her sub­stan­ce use and a­bu­se.

An in­ter­nal stu­dy at San­ca con­fir­med that ne­ar­ly 60% of clients star­ted with can­na­bis and then mo­ved to ot­her sub­stan­ces.

Work­pla­ces could see an in­cre­a­se in work­pla­ce ac­ci­dents and loss of pro­ducti­vi­ty due to mo­re em­ploy­ees s­mo­king can­na­bis.

The occu­pa­ti­o­nal He­alth and Sa­fe­ty

Act is very cle­ar that work­pla­ces must en­s­u­re a sa­fe wor­king en­vi­ron­ment for all em­ploy­ees.

Drug scree­n­ing of can­na­bis is mo­re com­plex than any ot­her sub­stan­ce as it is de­tected in the bo­dy for long pe­ri­ods, ma­king it dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mi­ne w­hen the em­ploy­ee has u­sed it last.

So­cie­ty has the rig­ht to de­ci­de w­hat is accep­ta­ble and w­hat not. Any chan­ge in le­gis­la­ti­on that may ha­ve an im­pact on all the ci­ti­zens of a coun­try ne­ces­si­ta­tes that the wi­dest pos­si­ble con­sul­ta­ti­on ta­kes pla­ce.

San­ca main­tains that the im­pact of any chan­ge in le­gis­la­ti­on needs to con­si­der the im­pact on crime, he­alth and wel­fa­re, and e­du­ca­ti­on.

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