About The Dagga Couple
The Dagga Couple (a phrase coined by the South African press) have, for almost three years now, been preparing a case to apply for the opportunity to ask some very simple questions in the highest court in South Africa, The Constitutional Court. How come this benign, useful, non toxic, non lethal plant has lead to the persecution of so many people, in so many countries, for so long? In August 2010, we had a very heavy handed visit from the South African Police Service (SAPS) who, acting on a tip off, raided our property in search of a ‘drug lab’. What they found was a quiet middle aged couple in their pyjamas and a quantity of Cannabis Sativa (aka Dagga). We were arrested after a five hour ordeal in our kitchen, jailed, and because we had more than 105g of the substance, were charged with dealing in Dagga. We were subsequently granted bail and released. We have always known Dagga is illegal, just like millions of other South Africans who chose to break the law every time they use the plant. We have done no harm to ourselves by ingesting the plant, and more importantly, we’ve done no harm to anyone else. As far as we can see, the only harm that comes about from using the plant is when the police arrive and treat Dagga smokers as guilty scum. Please see The Case History page for the story thus far… THE REASONS WE WANT THIS MATTER TO BE HEARD IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
- The South African legal system is sufficiently corrupt that we had the option to pay a large sum of money for our case to “disappear”. After our experience at the hands of the police we are not prepared to just pay our way out of this. Corrupt behaviour will ensure that the police will be breaking down our gate sometime in the future.
- We wish to demonstrate the ignorance at all levels of law enforcement when it comes to the prohibition of Dagga.
- We will provide evidence that the laws prohibiting the use of Dagga in South Africa have their origins in the racist colonial laws of the early 20th century. These laws are also dictated by international statutes based on propaganda in the United States and have no bearing on our local culture.
- The enforcement of the prohibition of Dagga costs the South African taxpayer millions every year. These resources could be utilised in a more efficient manner & the re-legalisation of Dagga would pave the way for the development of an extensive industrial cannabis sector. There is no better climate than South Africa’s to grow HEMP, the non psychotropic cousin Dagga which would create jobs in the agriculture, bio fuel, textile, building & medical industries. Hemp has a staggering amount of potential here in South Africa and we MUST utilise it on a grand scale to bolster our economy to enviable levels throughout southern Africa. Although still illegal to grow, industrial cannabis has started in South Africa. Government sanctioned pilot programmes exist and their passionate pioneers are growing right now.
- Our Human Rights have been violated by a law that is unjust & irrational, not supported by any empirical evidence & outdated. The punishment far outweighs the “crime”. Smoking Dagga is a “victimless crime” and should not be seen as a crime at all.
- We reserve the right to smoke Dagga/Cannabis in the privacy of our own property, with whom we wish. We are not harming anybody & no government has the right to treat us, and millions of other cannabis using South Africans, like criminals.
- The prohibition of Dagga leads to organised crime. This is fact and is supported by extensive research, both locally & internationally. Because the makers of the South African Dagga laws were misinformed by outdated European and American propaganda, the Dagga plant remains a schedule one ‘drug’ alongside heroin and ‘tik’, The unregulated black market surrounding the growing & marketing of Dagga is a major industry in South Africa, and tapped into, regulated and taxed, could only lead to high revenues being generated. There needs to be a distinction drawn between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs, as is the case in many countries worldwide.
- We reserve the right to self medicate. We are both very healthy individuals and we believe that our daily use of Dagga contributes to our healthy immune systems. Dagga has been used as a medication for thousands of years.
- We both contribute in significant ways to the society around us and, far from impairing our abilities, we believe that our use of Dagga contributes to this being so.
- We propose that the law prohibiting the use of Dagga in South Africa is based on propaganda and hearsay, based on protecting the industries that benefit from its prohibition and not based on protecting its citizens.
In short, the prohibition of Dagga is unscientific, based on outdated colonial racism, not in sync with the times and challenges we face, irrational and wrong.