By Dandrej Barnard Pt 4

This callous disregard for facts and empirical scientific evidence is reflected clearly by the CYPSA spokesperson Mamazane Maphanga when she stated on SABC Newsroom: “Young people come to us saying: Because of dagga this and this is what I’ve done, these people have been involved in the worse criminal cases. It is a drug, sugar is more healthier but dagga is a no!” Clearly the words of a person disconnected from the cause and effect of cannabis use (and sugar) in a demographic she claims to know intimately. More worryingly, she is unwilling to re-examine her opinions under any circumstances.   

Luckily not all are so blind. This weekend on the 5th of August 2017 will see South Africa’s first Clinical Cannabis Convention. A convention fully certified by the South African Medical Association to the point that doctors even earn points from the Association by attending. It will be a gathering of like minded people, doctors, scientists and specialists in the field. These people are not meeting to simply give their support for the legalisation of cannabis, they will be there for the betterment of modern medicine, the desire to help their fellow man and the advancement of science, not to mention the growth of the industry. The amount of businesses that centre around cannabis have grown exponentially in the last 5 years, all of them driven by local entrepreneurs.   

One of the main points that the Trail of the Plant will focus on, as well as one of the foremost concerns of dissidents, is the socio-economic impact. A large part of the South African population live in poverty. Poverty proliferated by the post-apartheid government. By keeping the masses uneducated and fighting for scraps in the slums, they are blind to the billions of Rands stolen from the average South African by a corrupt and uncaring government. How many schools have been built in the last 20 years? How many times has a new school term started and we hear how there are never enough books or teachers. We have just recently had a massive outcry by students over the cost and unavailability (unattainability) of tertiary education. The problem cited by the government is always the same: there is not enough money. In 2015 Jacob Zuma’s salary was the 4th highest in the world among world leaders, beating Britain, Japan, France and Italy. He reportedly made a cool $223 500 excluding benefits and shady deals. Thats R2,726,700 in 2015 as his legitimate salary; imagine how much more he made in the shadow world of quasi-legal dealings with unscrupulous associates.