THE MINISTER of Police Bheki Cele is not a happy chappy lately.
If it is not growing crime statistics, it’s a growing Cannabis.
This follows the Constitutional Court’s ruling regarding the private cultivation and use of cannabis, in a landmark judgement handed down by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, this week.
Cele poured out his heart and said he’s not happy with the judgement considering the rate of crime in the country.
Addressing students in eMpangeni KwaZulu-Natal, the worried cops boss pointed out that he disagreed with Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s judgement and that if it were up to him, the use of dagga would still be punishable by law
Cele cited the hotly debated gateway drug theory, saying:
“Everyone starts with dagga, then mandrax and then coke (cocaine), which means now everyone is on the same path to start drugs.
As I’m standing here, some few hours ago we had a judgment from the ConCourt that allowed you to smoke dagga. Well I haven’t read it, I’m just told what it entails, but it doesn’t entail you working with lots and lots of dagga. But if the judge had asked me, I would have said, no dagga smoking.”
Judge Zondo’s ruling gave Parliament 24 months to update legislation relating to marijuana use and cultivation. This means that the laws defining personal use, possession with the intent to sell, quality and quantity now rest in the hands of parliament.
Following the judgement social media was abuzz with everyone posting the effect it will have on them, some mocking former Pres JZ Zuma.
But one organization is singing from a different tune altogether following the ruling: Cannabis Development Council of South Africa (CDCSA).
The council says the ruling paves the way “for our people to benefit from this multi-billion dollar industry in SA.
“Cannabis has the potential to create new pathways for rural development and uplifting marginalised communities with the introduction of a legal cannabis industry in South Africa.
Based on sustainable models of food, fuel, fibre, and medicine production at a community level, birthing massive economic and empowerment opportunities for grassroots development. Giving a legal framework to the hundreds of thousands of existing cannabis farmers in SA by providing access to new value chains and markets”.
According to the council, 180 000 people have been arrested for cannabis-related use, clogging up the criminal justice system. The council says the ConCourt ruling “will transform dagga use in SA from a criminal issue to a social issue and free up much-needed police resources to focus on real crime”.
In 2015 Lanseria residents Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs termed ‘Dagga couple’ fought for what they believe is the “re-legalisation of dagga” as it was only criminalised in 1903, resulting in what was regarded as “trial of the plant”. Are they happy with the Concourt’s ruling- why shouldn’t they be?
It is believed South Africa should move with the rest of the world‚ where some European countries and American states are legalising cannabis and benefiting from tax money‚ it has been argued in court papers.
Mzansi is the third country in Africa to legalise cannabis (provisionally) following Lesotho in September 2017 and Zimbabwe in April this year.
Yep, when I was busy with this article yours truly was not high- as yet…