Ex-drug users slam dagga legalisation
ALCOHOL and cigarettes are already killing the country; please don’t add more challenges for the youth and poor communities to battle with in future.
This was the appeal of former drug users demonstrating outside the high court in Pretoria since Monday against the legalisation of cannabis, which they believe would impact poorer communities the most if given the green light.
Former dagga user Kwazokhule Gobozi said even though he came from a good family, he was lured into smoking dagga after friends told him it would help him lose weight. He said it actually saw him gain more weight.
To lose the weight, Gobozi said he continued experimenting with harder and newer drugs on the market but they only led him to living on the streets.
“With every new drug, my friends would tell me this would help me. I eventually lost the weight when I tried heroin, but by then I was homeless and sickly,” he said. “We know that from the moment they legalise it, kids will fall into its never-ending trap.”
Gobozi said having dagga restricted to people’s homes and for adults would not eliminate the possibility of children experimenting with it.
Tshologelo Mahlangu, from Bronkhorstspruit, said his addiction started with cigarettes in 1998, and he was later introduced to dagga as a “cool thing”. In college, he moved on to mandrax and in 2009 started using nyaope.
“Legalising another substance isn’t the way to go. As it is, we are struggling with the effects of alcohol abuse and cigarettes, which are also gateway substances. Why would anyone want to add more problems for future generations?” he asked.
Meanwhile, inside court 6E the legal battle met yet another hurdle as SC Leah Gcabushe and Doctors for Life legal representative Redge Willis submitted an application to have all annexures submitted by the Fields of Green for All struck off.
Gcabushe said submissions and summaries from expert witnesses were not relevant to the trial. These included the industrial production of marijuana and hemp, and the uses of medical marijuana.
She said 19 days was too much of the court’s time for such a matter to be heard.
However, defendant advocate Don Mahon said all eight legal representatives were afforded permission of 10 months to go through the summaries and submissions to be given by the experts.
Dagga couple Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke said they were upset by the state’s latest application, which seemed more like a ploy to delay the trial proceedings.
Clarke said: “To be told we have too much evidence is completely unfair as all representatives were afforded the summaries from September 30, 2016.
“Who has ever heard a legal representative saying it is not their job to read? They could have got one of their juniors to read the expert summaries.”
The matter was postponed to today.
UPSET: ‘Dagga couple’ Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs in the high court in Pretoria.