The Dagga Culture of South Africa have penned a letter of complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission to intervene a spate of right violations where the right to cultivate, possess and use dagga in private have been infringed upon by the South African Police Service.
Dagga smokers are demanding for a clear concise message from the police on where they stand in regards to their private dagga rights. They are now also demanding that access to dagga should be improved, it is not practical for every daggafarian to grow their own supply. Barter or the private trade of dagga should be allowed. All daggafarians must have access to unadulterated, high grade and affordable dagga, similar to tobacco and alcohol.
Letter sent to the South African Human Rights Commission
To whom it may concern,
We, the dagga culture of South Africa, daggafarians, daggarookers, rastafarians and ordinary South Africans demand that the South African Human Rights Commission intervene on a national level with police on the matter regarding private dagga rights.
Our people are still being victimized and impaired from exercising our rights. The injustice we face as a culture is similar to that of apartheid styled policing. Do not forget that the police to this day still base their enforcement on old apartheid anti-dagga laws which have since been declared invalid.
Since the legalisation of dagga OLX have decided to change their policy to allow all dagga related accessories to be bought and sold on the OLX platform.
When the state recently lost their appeal against the Constitutional ruling giving South African’s private dagga rights, the Dagga Shop opened up a store on the OLX platform. However after posting their ad for the Phantom Premium vaporizer to the platform they soon learned it was rejected.
Dagga Magazine decided to investigate the matter and contacted OLX when it learned of the discrimination against the online advertisement of the daggafarian smart shop, this while tobacco and alcohol accessories are freely advertised on the platform.
Max, a service consultant at OLX responded to Dagga Magazine’s questions in an e-mail: “Since the legalisation of dagga, we have revised our moderation rules and have since decided to allow accessories of dagga only. OLX does not discriminate against any group and that includes daggafarians. All items that are an accessory to dagga are allowed on OLX, excluding dagga. OLX has no interest in the tobacco industry. Similar to dagga paraphernalia, we allow the accessories relating to tobacco but not the tobacco itself to be sold on our platforms. Our posting rules are only dictated by the South African laws. Should the South African laws change regarding dagga, we will review our moderation rules accordingly.”
The Dagga Shop have since updated their ad to read Phantom Premium Dagga Vaporizer, however the ad has since been rejected. Upon inquiring about the reason the ad was denied, OLX stated in an email that it was due to the website url that was included directing to Dagga Shop’s online store.
The daggafarian smart shop has since tried editing the add to omit the link. However the ad has been rejected, contradicting the statement OLX have made earlier.
#FairCop: “#StopTheCops: (Only when the) money is secure, (Shindlers) attorneys will let you use their name to say that you got to stop the cops and when you stop the cops it is going to be a publicity feast! – #DaggaCoupleCouncil – Robin Stransham-Ford
In this article we take an in-depth look at the Fields of Green for All ‘FairCop’ Meeting held in Cape Town on the 14th of January 2015 and how aspects of this meeting leads to the speculation of the planned failure to host one of the biggest dagga cultural events in the history of South Africa as a possible publicity stunt to gain support for one organization’s bid to raise funds for the Trial of The Plant.
FairCop meeting: Daggafarians’ justice for sale.
Robin Stransham-Ford leading the presentation in the presence of Myrtle, Jeremy David Acton, Tony Budden and others: “Here is the challenge, after Prince you can’t do it. It’s been decided the international court of human rights and I said we can. I went to see these folks (Dagga Couple) and said just not on your sovereign right to get stoned, I agreed it isn’t good enough you have a bright young lawyer who is now my second in command on the second tier of the challenge, as a university student he said on a comparative test how can you ban cannabis and allow alcohol and tobacco and he was a kid then they spotted his article, his brother needs cannabis 4 to 5 times a day because he is an epileptic and he manages one of the top firms in Johannesburg these are the people we need, this man here *pointing to Jeremy David Acton* the man of the Dagga Party, this man here *pointing to Tony Budden* who knows how to build bricks with it (dagga), these people *pointing to Myrtle of Dagga Couple* who have the individual sovereignty to challenge this and then work for it and they make it easy for everybody else to fall in line is as an exercise of sovereignty. Our ultimate aim, ‘Pinky’ (& the Brain) is to have 24 hour a day running referendum of all the big issues not the little local political issues, the issues that effect the world and at 24 hour a day running referendum called a lo(lotto), running lotto which just eats up my (money?), monetize it, digitize it, do the maths, join the dots, that won’t take long.
But I say if we can’t get this right we certainly can’t do anything about the government that we so rightly deserve in this country that we definitely got, so this challenge sets the mark for all of that but Mr Prince won’t come on board, why? Well he doesn’t trust lawyers, Why cause he went all the way to the International Court and, well he had the two top Council Tengrove and Chastelleson and they gave it away on the first day because they said the applicants can see that there are good grounds for the laws prohibiting cannabis. Now how do I drag them back from that and do this (#FairCop) again when everybody told me it can’t be done. I am going to show you. We have the challenge, now what we’ve said is there are 250 courts around the country, 4 bust a court that’s 1000 a day, what we said is a thousand people being prejudiced by these laws and we’ve gone to challenge it Constitutionally in the face of Prince that is a massive achievement, because that means one judge and it had to be this judge one judge had to say wait a minute the Constitutional court and the international court could be wrong on the issue of individual sovereignty, and is what they raised, so now we are going to bring the whole army to that battle this is how we are doing it we now say all the courts around the country, we are saying we have leave to challenge so stay the persecution and that’s for 25 grand, 5 grand goes to her *points to Myrtle*, 20 grand goes to the attorney and the attorney splits with me, I appear he (the dagga accused or attorney?) doesn’t go anywhere. Why can’t we get the lawyers, she know more about it than the lawyers do, why won’t they do it, and I know the four top lawyers in South Africa and they won’t do it because 25 grand plays 250 grand for the magistrate’s cut court trail alone and I’ve talked to them about it and they tell me well you can’t tell me how to run a practise this is crazy there is a law it has already been decided at the constitution, so they won’t hear cause it has already been decided at the Constitutional court. So that is not getting us far enough and then we put them together, Sharon & Myrtle and Sharon she is having a fit this is all very well to stay the prosecution but what about the kids, the ones I show you the ECG reports on who are having 70 seizures an hour they can’t do anything, the neurologist but with cannabis the child in 30 seconds whimpers and goes to sleep, what about those people who’s children may die. I say great that is exactly what I need. A child has a right to life. And an affidavit from his mother and she says *points to Myrtle* what about my guys, your guys haven’t been bust yet, what about my guys they have been bust, one guy shot himself and the other had died of an heart attack so violent was it now they charged with racketeering, and they had to go, twice from bail lost last time they got lucky because the judge said the magistrate said he’s not giving reason because he doesn’t want to come back from holidays that’s ok out on bail not because of the merits. So now what do we need? I can see the dilemma that her patients are in *pointing to Sharon* and *points to Myrtle* her clients are in, and I can see why there is antipathy between them.
So what do I come up with, I come up with Stop The Cops and that I say you can get started at a 100 and a maximum 500 and I haven’t done and Shindlers injustice but in anyway that is to start work. *someone interrupts asking if they can ask a quick question, Robin interrupts and says* Don’t ask questions! You can ask questions when I finished, I need what do I need here, I got these people they the brass bust is one of the biggest bust, Myrtle can fill you in on the details *Myrtle acknowledges* These kids are the most exposed that we have in the nation and cannabis is most effective there their medical case, their argument for property, privacy and right to life are all in one application, I’ve already made the Constitutional case against the laws. And the first thing I’ll say is Tengrove and Chastelleson and the International Court are all wrong because they took too narrow a view. And right across the country that’s gonna hit the lines, right across the world its going to be headlines. Because what do we say *taps on whiteboard*, all the attorneys tell me that they are not really interested in this business when I call them on trial but for the bail and the preliminaries let the cops take that because we can’t compete with them because they know what our fees are so they enrich themselves when they do the bust they steal everything they can they don’t account for anything they roll you over why don’t you shoot yourself fine let’s have another joint that’s what happening and that is a persecution. And what do we do there? We achieve such a, 99% of the resources against drugs are going against cannabis its the low hanging fruit, what does that tell you, it tells you corruption in one fell swoop were saying the Minister of Police must show cause why summons should not be issued in every case, second the Minister of Police must give instructions to the commissioner that all policemen that affect cannabis busts must give a strict account of the inventory which must be signed by the accused after summons is issued and then the Minister of Police must show cause why he should continue to allow the constabulary to occur liabilities at a thousand a day at anywhere from R10 000 to millions of Rands of damage caused to the people’s person, property, careers, privacy, right to dignity all of these things. Because what we are doing to do through them is we are going to lawyer every single one from now on that is your biggest selling point because its going out to the press that we are going to say not just join the queue, join the queue yes but join the queue to sue the government if they don’t do this. I need that out by the end of January (2015).
Because if he ever gets allowed to speak the president is going to talk about cannabis the medical innovation bill and I want him to say what I have ask for to say which is as much as I need to do or I go to Singh who goes to Mbeti I get the message across they want this as much as we do we want them to say a sensible thing so we come up with a plan and we give them the sensible thing to do and that is to say let the sovereigns grow just like they’ve done in America all over the ancient and indigenous lands industrially as far as horticulture we’ve got a pilot project, the Ndwedwe project it’s in Durban its going to grow horticulture cannabis and we are going turnout a platform a modal that we can roll out throughout the country and the world. That’s a far sighted state thing to do that earns votes and also gains employment, if I have done this *points to whiteboard* he’s got to do it, hasn’t he? Because he can’t enforce anything else anyway. Are you following me, anybody? I am just seeing nothing here am I getting any response at all. *someone says they are not following 100% on where Robin is on Stop The Cops, Myrtle replies and says she will go through it later in the meeting and Robin continues*
All I am saying is everything else, funny season is over the junketing forget that let’s get down to business this has got to be done now. And it’s got to be done now before the state of the nation address on the 12th and she needs to be able to tell the attorneys ok I have the money secure because only then will the attorneys let you use their name to say that you got to stop the cops and when to stop the cops it is going to be a publicity feast that makes it easy to fund this *points to the Constitutional challenge* that puts us on every medium that you can, look what the support that grows for you in the indigenous community on a thousand bust a day. I mean I am talking about exercise the most power that comes from the clarity, ok, not from any person or agenda. *tosses marker on table* I am the dying guy I am the rare resource, I am the man on point, I am on council. Between you *pointing at everyone* don’t think about anything else except getting money. And if I don’t Shuttleworth he is finished, Masepe he’s out, these people don’t respond their finished you can probably go to your friends and family and raise the R300 000. So let’s not have any influence mongering, influence peddling, politicking or anything like that. These girls together with Nonsie they got to get around to the rest of the continent and the planet and they’ve got to do it from pristine point of view not cutting side deals for themselves. Do you understand. Whatever you do, I mean if somebody runs a transport company or somebody does (something else) that it is all done at arms length.
What I would like to know is where is Dankowitz *someone answers he is right on board with us to which Robin exclaims* No! Where is he, I asked for him to be here. *Someone answers that he didn’t have the meeting on his schedule to which Robin asked* Why not? *person responds by saying they did explain to him but Robin interrupts* ok ill, because Dankoiwit is not that I need to see Dankowitz, Dankowitz needs to hear this. Because I specially asked for Dankowitz because Dankowitz he is, he’s friend you know Dutch Peet has already spoken to Sharon in my presence all bout profit funds for not this but for the challenge it should be so much easier to get him to buy into this *point to #FairCop on whiteboard* what I am saying is Dankowitz is in touch with him all’o the time. OK, sorry over to you *Robin steps down and Myrtle takes over presentation.*”
The following are excerpts from Myrtle’s presentation.
“It took us a year to setup (Fields of Green for All) non profit company and it’s your NPO, it’s not mine & Julian’s or mine and the directors it’s yours. If you see a role that you can play in it then please use it, use the registration of the NPO wherever you need to use it, nobody need to register a other one unless it is for another purpose, but this is the evidence provider for the trial of the plant, and the Constitutional challenge is the Apex of what we are aiming at”
“Where there is equal equity, the law must prevail.”- Quote from legal dictionary.
“Again thank goodness we are not on our own (in the battle for dagga rights), we have Dagga Couple partners, we have Field’s of Green for All affiliates, Alwyn from the South African National Cannabis Working Group, we have people like Below The Lion Headshop, Puff who sell the bongs, we have a whole list of people who take care of social activism, take care of the general public and make sure the general public don’t squabble amongst themselves too much about the issues at hand.”
“The Green Network (forum) is something that we setup on our Fields of Green for All website (hosted) on a secure German server, If there is any important issue we that we want to discuss and we want to keep it secure, it would be very difficult for them to watch us on there”
“#JoinTheQueue: it doesn’t matter if you have one joint or 5000 kgs of dried plant you can join the queue, you can put in a notice of motion with the high court that you intend to sue the government so they must stay your prosecution so that you can sue the government so you can join us and Jeremy and Garreth Prince and everybody else who’s got cases, so that your case doesn’t go to trial.” – Myrtle Clarke of the Dagga Couple
“There was a raid on (a million Rand Daggafarian-family dagga business consisting of) 8 different properties in the greater Gaugteng area, 11 people were arrested and all sent to jail, two of those people died. The one man didn’t get his heart medication from his girlfriend (in jail) and died of heart attack in hospital, the other man was granted bail, 6 of the 11 were granted bail, but he was the owner of one of the properties in Hartbeespoortdam where the nursery and 500kg of dried plant material were found, and he freaked out and shot himself. So that is really not acceptable and five of the family members spent 44 days in jail, while they were there the warders and the people in prison could not believe they were locked up for a cannabis charge for such a long time, and the reason they were in there for such a long time is because the police wants their money! They came out of jail the police now have 11 vehicles, they have 8 properties, they have all their cash and all their bank accounts and everything and it’s a travesty. So between Sharon’s amazing work with the children, ok on the one side and this awful experience of this family of the two people dying on the other our Join The Queue precedence in the middle we’ve got an amazing case, we can sing the praises of the case wherever but the one thing we don’t have is the money in order to bring this application, I would say it could be R300 000 and when you think that it cost this family R300 000 with their lawyer in order to get them out. *smirks* And we need R300 000 to stop the cops. *Myrtle concludes this part of the presentation.*” – Myrtle Clarke of the Dagga Couple
After Myrtle’s presentation a question and answer session was held
Robin responds to question about what #FairCop is: “What do we effectively do when we stop the cops: 1 we stop corruption because 99% of police doing drugs (or busts) are on cannabis, it’s no hanging fruit, we stop the theft, we stop the deaths, all that sort of thing, at the grassroots level what do we do, we cancel fear, we take it right out of the equation, what does that do at the level of debate, it means well people are saying ‘fuck me’, ‘fuck me’ *raises middle finger* we actually stop the cops.” – Robin Stransham-Ford
Myrtle elaborates on pitching to law firms and legal expenses: “We went to all the top (law) firms and gave presentations and they all closed the door and Shindlers opened the door for us and they have been there for us and they have probably done (at the rate that) they invoice probably done about R10 million worth of work for us. And if we can show them with R300 000 which is really not so much money, we can show them that R300 000 is a gesture of good will, we engage them on a different level after stop the cop, because it’s difficult to engage with attorneys and you are not paying them. You know. They… *hand gesture*, So if we do this gesture it’s going to mean so much for the Constitutional challenge in terms of Shindlers and they really an attorney who gets the cannabis thing, is a rare and beautiful thing and you really don’t get attorney’s who get this concept.” – Myrtle Clarke of the Dagga Couple
Commentary about attorneys and stoners by Robin: “And they (the attorneys) don’t get this if they are not stirring this that is the thing that surprised me, and stoners are nice chaps. They are cleverer, and somehow its doing good for this otherwise dull legal brains that took poor old Princes case on.” – Robin Stransham-Ford
Someone sitting at the table asked for funds to be used for placing a fundraising advertisement: “I would love to see a full page in the Argus written in really simple English saying ‘We need your money, do you smoke weed? Come and help us. This is our phone number.'”
Jeremy David Acton raises concerns about the dagga culture’s lack of identity and ask that the process be a people’s process: “Wherever the big case is heard we don’t only need the council and the people in the court room we need to fill the streets outside as well. Everyday must be a public event, it must make it difficult for the State to run the State in the area of the court when the hearings are taking place, its about building the culture. it not only the legal quest, we have to become people out in the society not just in the shadows smoking our weed. The Rastafarians are forward already. They have an identity then the average stoner doesn’t quite know how to express his weediness for the lack of the better word (Hint: Daggafarianism), all this adds up to its a peoples process and got to give it to the people.” – Jeremy David Acton
The monetization of the freedom of daggafarians
While the quest by Fields of Green for All is a noble act in the quest for Dagga Revolution the freedom of daggafarians must never be monopolized and monetized to raise profits and salaries for a single organization. No dagga organization or its goals, no matter how potentially significant it may be, can ever be more important than the people it represents and can never justify not releasing information to the public free of charge to enable any daggafarian to apply for a stay of prosecution considering it has taken FOGFA a decade to finally appear in the Constitutional hearing. While the process for a stay of prosecution has been available to the Dagga Couple and the Dagga Party for quite some time.
Therefore we feel the need to address the issue as we have pleaded for the responsible parties to release a step by step guide as it would benefit all people and create a public precedent that would challenge police persecution by creating a redundancy because of what the public knowledge of staying your persecution without the need for lawyers and legal expenses would mean in the public domain.
From the Fields of Green for All website store: “You can gain access to even more information and important resources by registering for small subscription fee, Donations are R150 per month or a discounted annual fee of R1380.”
Affiliation for sale: “We have a few sponsorship slots remaining for entrepreneurs who are interested…” Fields of Green for All – Clinical Cannabis Convention 2017 Sponsorship R 4,995. Out of stock. This sponsorship includes 2 tickets for the event, as well as featuring your company’s logo on all of our marketing and event material.”
The Fields of Green T-Shirt sells for only R 150, which is a bargain for any dagga related Tee but a whopping R 195 levy is charged for the basic info Pack that may cover a lot of topics but still only lines up a sale for your place in the queue!
This brings us back to the #FairCop campaign where in a fundraising campaign, Fields of Green for All representative, Joanne van Rooyen, said: “All the proceeds raised go towards our #FairCop court challenge, where we aim to stop the police from harassing and arresting all daggafarians.”
#StopTheCops never came to fruition and the fundraising campaign only ever was a fundraiser for Shindler’s “gesture of good will” as explained by Myrtle.
Weedstock blunder: Ignorance or publicity stunt?
In 2016 the dagga culture of South Africa witnesses one of the biggest blunders in dagga event management. Many daggafarians pitched up to what can only be described as an empty promise.
The opinion of FOGFA’s legal council stated that the event organisers were not responsible for the cancellation because the police didn’t advise them about a legal requirement which would have also been a requirement of the Dagga Day celebrations of 2013. Then the possibility of confiscation of the equipment is used as a reason to cancel the event when they could have had an unplugged gathering of 10 or less persons per group in a lawful protest against the claim that it was the intention of police to sabotage the event.
Even if the Police played a roll in the event’s demise surely there are various options to consider. Postponing the event for one week until the missing signature could be received. Apply to the court for an emergency interim judgement to allow the event due to police negligence if this could have been proven however it would be impossible to prove because it’s not the job of police to educate event organisers about legal requirements. Although it would have been a nice gesture of the police to inform the event organisers in time to make the required arrangements to get the missing signature.
We have requested proof of the email from the police threatening to pounce on the illegal event should it continue but thus far could not be produced.
In light of reviewing the FOGFA meeting where the legal council’s main objectives are for revving up publicity to create a platform to base fundraising campaigns on we cannot help to suspect the possibility that the event’s “sabotage” could have been a dagga-falseflag operation premeditated by FOGFA.
An unthinkable scenario to imagine but unfortunately there are still too many unanswered questions. The convenience of giving up doesn’t quite fit the image of the Dagga Couple whom have gone to the edge of the Earth and jumped off into the pits of hell to fight for dagga rights who would eventually confront the devil in the Constitutional court.
The bottom line is that the event’s paperwork must have been in order for advertising and sale of tickets to have commenced because you cannot advertise an event that has not been finally approved otherwise you would be advertising and selling tickets to an illegal event.
The organization must release the communication that implicate the negligence and unconstitutional threats by the police and file a report of negligence and intentional sabotage of the event by the police.
We welcome the input of the implicated parties in the comment section below.