Category Archives: Law

iAfricanna Inc, hoax or a daggafarian’s hope?

A company referring to itself as a cannabis incubator have compiled a dagga-grow permit kit and is inviting everyone to apply to grow legal dagga.

In a e-mail leaked to the Dagga Magazine from a source close to iAfricanna, a new incorporation established by the Salute Empowerment Forum, Zubenathi PTY ltd, Mazangani Solutions, Agricultural Research Centre, CSIR and House of Hemp, compiled a dagga-growing permit application kit and has invited anyone with fenced land and the will to grow dagga to attend a free workshop on how to apply for a permit to grow cannabis or hemp in 2017.

Permit Readiness Invite by iAfricanna

Hoax or hope?

The cultivation of dagga for commercial purposes is still highly illegal in South Africa, although the law may soon change upon the outcome of the Cape Town High Court judgement to change the Drug & Trafficking Act of 1992 to accommodate the personal cultivation, possession and use of dagga it will have no impact on the commercialisation of legal dagga.

While the promise of a dagga revolution is noble, and a goal every daggafarian must strive towards, there is currently no way to legally grow dagga.

We did not get correspondence from House of Hemp in time for publication on the legitimacy of the e-mail sent by Daluxolo Kunene.

Hoax or hope for daggafarians? You decide. Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or in the comment section below.

iAfricanna Dagga Grow Permit Application Kit

CliffCentral – Laws of Life: Dagga

After an invitation by the Presidency for people to send suggestions for the State of the Nation Address, the request for dagga to be legalised made up the majority of the recommendations. Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clark (The Dagga Couple) join the show, discussing how they are challenging the constitutionality of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act insofar as it relates to the use, possession and dealing of marijuana in SA.

Listen on CliffCentral.com

The Drug Policy Sham – 56 Myths, Lies and Misconceptions Behind The Drug Apartheid

Drug law and policy has its roots in fear, ignorance, racism and self interest. Sadly, this has changed little over the years. It continues to be shaped more by punitive populism and moral crusades, rather than scientific evidence, reason and rationality.

To expose and encourage a critical debate I’ve tried to uncover some of the main myths, lies and misconceptions that underpin and shape and inform drug policy development. Unless we acknowledge our philosophical position and identify the principles that inform our thinking, we risk replicating further misguided drug policies.

Although punchy and accessible in style, each point below is carefully considered and can be academically supported – but that’s for another day!

1. “There is a clear pharmacological definition for drugs.” There isn’t – what we classify as illegal ‘drugs’ is a 1950s & 60s social and cultural construct with no coherent pharmacological rationale. We fail to recognise alcohol, tobacco or caffeine as drugs – and maybe sugar should also be classified as a drug.

 

2. “People who use drugs are drug misusers.” Untrue – the vast majority generally use drugs recreationally and sensibly, but unfortunately we conflate use with problematic use. 

 

3. “Drug users are dirty, immoral and dangerous losers.” An unjustified and hostile stereotype – illicit drug users are a diverse group of people from every walk of life. The drug business is dirty, immoral and dangerous – that’s because it’s illegal, extremely lucrative and subject to fierce law enforcement.

 

4. “People take drugs because they have problems.” Untrue – most people take drugs because they enjoy the effect, just like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

 

5. “Regular drug use inevitably leads to addiction.” Untrue – only a small proportion of people who use drugs develop addiction – just like alcohol.

 

6. “Taking drugs damages people.” All substances (legal and illegal) can damage people, and the most damaging drug of all is a legal one – alcohol. However, prohibition makes illicit drugs more dangerous and damaging. In addition, acquiring a criminal record for drugs can be more harmful to life than the drug. 

 

7. “Drug use fuels crime.” The presence of a drug and the commission of a crime does not equate to a causal connection. The relationship is ‘associated’ rather than ‘causal’. However, there is evidence that prohibition and tough law enforcement fuel violent crime.

 

8. “Legal drugs are safer and less harmful.” This is a particularly misleading statement, because alcohol and tobacco are far more damaging than mostillegal drugs. However, prohibition makes it difficult to know the strength, ingredients or quality of illegal drugs, which in itself creates an entirely avoidable risk.

 

9. “Law enforcement measures affect levels of drug use.” Studies show that in advanced western democracies neither tough, nor liberal law enforcement approaches have much impact upon levels of drug use.

 

10. “Addiction is an equal opportunity employer.” Drug use is an equal opportunity employer,  but chronic addiction isn’t. While anyone can be affected, chronic problematic drug use tends to disproportionately affect those with disadvantaged and damaged lives that had significant difficulties before PDU and these people lack the resources, opportunities and support to recover.

 

11. “Addiction is a brain disease”. Untrue, yes the brain will be affected but loss of control of drugs (similar to internet addiction, gambling, over-eating) has much more to do with social, psychological and behavioural fact than neurological defects. If addiction was a brain disease MRIs would be used as diagnostic evidence of addiction.

 

12. “The government can protect society by banning new drugs”.Banning drugs masquerades as positive action to deal with the ‘problem’ when actually banning drugs has little impact on use and makes production, distribution and consumption more dangerous.

 

13. “Once listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act, drugs become controlled.” Technically correct – but once a drug is listed as a controlled drug, it is forced underground and thus becomes completely outside government/social control. So ironically a controlled drug, is by nature, an uncontrolled drug.

 

14. “Cannabis is a gateway drug that leads to addiction to ‘hard’ drugs.” Untrue, most young adults have used cannabis and most have not progressed onto using other drugs, nor have they become ‘addicts’. The last three Presidents of the USA all successfully used cannabis without any gateway affect.

 

15. “People who use caffeine, tobacco and/or alcohol are not drug users”. Untrue – they certainly are drug users and many are ‘addicts’. These three substances are all drugs, and ironically unlike some illegal drugs – in high dosages caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are toxic and result in death.

 

16. “If we lock up dealers we can reduce the drug related violence.” The opposite is true, disrupting the supply distribution and removing dealers creates more violence by fuelling market uncertainty, presenting new business opportunities and creating ‘business’ conflict.

 

17. “Drug use isn’t a crime issue it’s a health issue.” This may sound like a step in the right direction, but taking a substance isn’t inherently a health issue, anymore than enjoying a coffee or glass of wine is a ‘health issue’. Even problematic drug use isn’t best described as a health issue, it’s more accurately a social, psychological, health and/or legal issue.

 

18. “There are ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs.” There is no scientific evidence underpinning the misleading categorisation of hard and soft drugs. While some drugs can generally pose greater problems than other drugs to some people, – these generalisations are misleading because the impact of a drug varies from person to person depending upon the set (the person) and the setting (the environment) – it’s not just the substance.

 

19. “Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, and the proof they are dangerous is that they are illegal!” This circular Double-Speak offers no evidence and is used to defend prohibition, but the substances we have called ‘drugs’ are not inherently more dangerous than other substances such as alcohol, sugar, tobacco, fat, caffeine and peanuts. However, prohibition increases the risk, danger and uncertainty considerably.

 

20. “Drug testing will tell you if a person is on drugs.” The result is unreliable due to human error, machine error, deliberate and accidental false positives and false negatives. Someone eating a poppy seed bagel could test positive for opiates. Someone who tests positive for cannabis may not have used the drug that day, however, because of the metabolites of the drug the positive result may be detecting cannabis used days, weeks or even months ago.  Drug presence does not indicate drug impairment or intoxication.

 

21. “Like everything else on the market drugs must be proven safe before they can ever be legalised.” Not true. The safety for other products does not have to be established before approval (for example mobile phones or GM foods). Substances that are damaging or even lethal to some such as tobacco, alcohol, peanuts are legal and promoted, whereas a drug such as cannabis that has medicinal benefits and has never killed anyone is considered dangerous and remains illegal.

 

22. “People who use drugs are not criminals they need help.” An apparently benign and supportive statement, however, while taking a drug should not be a law enforcement concern, neither should we problematize or pathologize drug use as a health issue. There is no reason why we should assume a person using drugs needs help.

 

23. “Recovery is about becoming drug free.” Recovery is about people who have been dependent on drugs regaining control of their life, but becoming drug free isn’t always necessary to achieve that. Some people sort their life out and continue to use in a non-problematic way, and some take clean legal prescribed substitutes such as methadone or heroin and successfully lead productive and stable lives. 

 

24. “Harm reduction is about reducing the spread of diseases.” Harm reduction is not just about health – it’s also about reducing social, cultural and psychological harms. Harm reduction is an evidenced-based approach that should sit alongside human rights to underpin all drug policy. It’s pragmatic, humane and non judgemental, it engages people where they are at with a view to reducing risk and harm.

 

25. “Harm reduction doesn’t support abstinence.” Harm reduction isn’t about getting people off drugs – it’s about working with people to reduce risks. However, in some cases abstinence might be a good way to reduce risks – so harm reduction incorporates abstinence – but only if the person is ready, able, interested and wanting to become abstinent.

 

26. “Illegal drugs have little or no use in medicine.” Although this sentiment is enshrined in the much out-dated 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotics this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Opiates are essential in severe pain management  cannabis and MDMA, have medicinal benefits in the treatment of a growing number of conditions (e.g. MS, PTSD, Epilepsy). Illegality has made medical trials and acceptance extremely difficult.

 

27. “People who use drugs need treatment not prison.” Another apparently positive statement however, people who use drugs don’t need treatment or prison anymore than someone who has a double espresso each morning, or the person who enjoys a glass of whisky before bedtime needs treatment or prison. Under the umbrella of ‘it’s better than prison’ all sorts of questionable practices can appear palatable.

 

28. “To prevent stigma we need to understand addiction as a disease.”Yes we want to prevent stigma but addiction is not a disease. The most effective way to prevent stigma is to end the drug apartheid and challenge the hypocritical and flawed social construction of ‘drugs’. 

 

29. “Drug laws affect everyone the same.” This is not true. The chances of being stopped, searched, arrested and prosecuted for drug possession depends greatly on the colour of your skin, your social class, age, location and your social background. 

 

30. “If we try hard enough we can eradicate drugs.” A fallacy. Forty years of extremely tough prohibition involving masses of time and money for police, armed forces and customs has had no impact upon supply, price or use. They can’t even keep drugs out of high security prisons.

 

31. “Heroin is a dangerous drug that damages your body.” Any street drug could be very damaging because illegality means the user hasn’t got a clue what’s in it. But clean pharmaceutical heroin (unlike alcohol) doesn’t cause any permanent damage to the body.

 

32. “Crack cocaine in pregnancy leads to permanently damaged ‘crack’ babies.” There is no consistent evidence to support this claim. Longitudinal studies, indicate severe and enduring poverty appears to be the most significant factor that thwarts child progress and development, not parental crack cocaine use during pregnancy. So instead of emotively and inaccurately, focusing upon ‘crack babies’, it would be more appropriate to direct attention towards the plight of ‘poverty babies’. 

 

33. “Drug testing will help identify people who have a drug problem.”  Besides its unreliability – at best drug testing only indicates drug presence, it provides no indication of the pattern, time, place, reason or context of drug use. A positive result indicates drug use not problematic use.

 

34. “Law enforcement targets the most dangerous drugs.” Untrue, arrests and drug seizures for cannabis outnumber all the other drugs arrests combined. The war between drugs is largely a war on the relatively benign cannabis while the significantly more dangerous drug alcohol is enjoyed and promoted amongst law enforcement officials.

 

35. “People caught with cannabis don’t end up in prison.” Untrue, many certainly do.

 

36. “Drug law enforcement targets people who use drugs.” Levels of drug use across the white and black population are similar. However it depends upon the colour of your skin and your social status as to whether you will be targeted. If you are poor and have a minority ethnic heritage you are much more likely to be targeted – stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted and subsequently sentenced – for drug defined crime. 

 

37. “Heroin during pregnancy will cause permanent harm to the unborn child.” Street heroin is a problem because you don’t know what’s in it. But clean pharmaceutical heroin causes no known permanent damage to a baby. Once recovered from withdrawal symptoms babies will have no permanent harm. However, alcohol taken during pregnancy can cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome – a permanent condition.

 

38. “A drug free world is desirable.” Drugs have been used since records began for pain relief, treating sickness, for relaxation and social reasons. Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco are drugs and arguably cocoa, sugar and fat too. A world without drugs is unthinkable, undesirable and untenable.

 

39. “Illegal drugs kill people.” This is misleading because the majority of drug deaths are consequences of prohibition and a draconian drug policy that makes taking drugs uncertain and more dangerous and getting help risky. A lot of deaths could have otherwise been avoided. 

 

40. “Drug policy is based upon the best available evidence.” For decades research reports, reviews, inquiries, expert groups have provided mountain loads of evidence – but drug policy has repeatedly ignored the best available evidence and instead continued to uphold the principles of prohibition enshrined in the 1961 UN Single Convention. Drug policy is rooted in ideological beliefs and an attempt to seize the moral high ground, rather than science and evidence.

 

41. “It’s a war on drugs.”  Untrue drugs have never been more accommodated, integrated or promoted. There is no war on alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, fat or BigPharma drugs.  It is a war on particular drugs that have been outlawed for political, social and economic reasons (not pharmacological or scientific reasons). It’s a ‘War Between Drugs’ enforced by an uncompromisingly tough Drug Apartheid.

 

42. “Regulation is the way forward.” Ideally, but it depends upon whatregulation looks like. Not if that regulation (as illustrated in the New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013) means: you are now prohibited and punished for possession of substances not approved by the state (s.71 $500 fine); supply carries a 2 year prison sentence (s.70); all new psychoactive substances not listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act are automatically prohibited and the only way of acquiring ‘approved’ substances is through BigPharma or BigBusiness.

 

43. “Every day drug free is a another day of being clean.”  This is misleading, is anyone ever (and should they be?) drug free because we take caffeine, sugar, cocoa, aspirin, alcohol?  More importantly this statement wrongly insinuates taking a drug is wrong and dirty and without them we become ‘clean’.

 

44. “Alcohol occupies so much police time – imagine how bad it’d be if we legalise cannabis.”  There is no comparison these are two  different substances that impact behaviour very differently. It is rare for anyone on cannabis to be argumentative, aggressive and violent, unfortunately the same cannot be said for alcohol. It’s like saying we’ve seen the damaged caused by  boxing imagine how bad it’d be if we legalised tennis.

 

45. “Legalising drugs is dangerous because more people will use drugs.”  In countries where drugs have been legalised or decriminalised there has not been any overall increase in drug use. However, it is dangerous and problematic drug use that should concern us not drug use per se. People who are currently using unknown (purity, toxicity, ingredients, strength) street drugs and risking a criminal record will be in a much safer position.

 

46. “Cannabis use by drivers is leading to more deaths on the road.” Unfounded. There is evidence that cannabis is increasingly found in blood samples but this presence of cannabis in the blood stream could arise from use of cannabis days, weeks even months ago. Drug presence doesn’t mean impairment.

 

47. “Every drug death is further evidence of the dangers of drugs.”  Most drug deaths are a by-product of draconian drug policy that could be avoided by a combination of decriminalisation, legalisation, naloxone distribution, safer drug use education, heroin assisted treatments, drug testing kits, drug consumption rooms and less intolerance and stigma.

 

48. “The underground criminal business in drugs is enormous so we need tougher law enforcement.” Unfortunately, it is prohibition that has created these conditions in the first instance, more enforcement can only be expected to further increase the power and wealth of the criminal cartels and increase violence. However, regulation and decriminalisation would make a real positive difference significantly reducing the underground illegal drug business.

 

49. “Better that someone goes to Drug Court than prison.” Anything can appear palatable and justified if presented as an alternative to prison. For the overwhelming majority of non-problematic drug users, coercive treatment is pointless, expensive, and unethical. For the small minority of problematic users, better that people who need help can access that help in the community, following a thorough assessment, and a best-fit treatment plan that has access to a full range of services, rather than having to access an enforced abstinence 12 step programmes through the criminal justice system.

 

50. “The world would be a better place without drugs.” Drugs are vital in medicine and pain relief, they are also important for relaxing, sleeping, socialising, providing energy, thinking laterally, creatively and artistically. Legal drugs alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are used for these purposes every day, although other (currently illegal) drugs might be safer and better suited.

 

51. “People grow out of taking drugs.”  While there is evidence that people grow out of criminal activity, the use of prohibited drugs involves criminal risks, so if there is a shift away from illegal drugs at a later age it’s not necessarily the case that people are ‘growing out of drugs’, but perhaps, over time, they learn to avoid the associated criminal associations. There is no evidence people grow out of using the drugs alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

 

52. “If strong evidence is provided drug laws will change  Strong reliable evidence is crucial to develop effective drug laws, but most advanced capitalist countries show little sign of being influenced by science and evidence. Instead they seem committed to an ideologically driven position to maintain the privilege of legal drugs by demonising all illicit drugs regardless of the harms caused.

 

53. “Society needs to learn to accept drug use  With the massive range of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine products combined with the ever increasing range of BigPharma drugs there is no doubt society already fully accepts, embraces and engages in drug use – on a daily basis! So this statement is misleading and feeds into the faulty thinking that fails to acknowledge legal substances as drug use. Society needs to learn to understand we are operating within a drug apartheid.

 

54. “There is no cure for addiction  Addiction is essentially a social and psychological condition, rooted in patterns of thinking, behaviour and lifestyle that’s got out of control. It’s not an incurable disease from which people never recover and are forced to live in ‘recovery’. The vast majority of people who become dependent successfully regain control, most of them without professional help. The large numbers who have quit smoking are a good example.

 

55. “The only place for taking drugs is in medicine  It is a position you could hold for yourself, but it’s an extreme position that would mean no tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fizzy drinks, sweets or cakes, most breakfast cereals etc (avoiding the drugs; alcohol, caffeine and sugar).  It’s akin to saying the only acceptable reason for consuming food is to keep us healthy. Pleasure, relaxing, getting more energy,  feeling sleepy or enhancing our senses are not unreasonable motivations for taking food or substances.

 

56. “Drugs like cannabis are illegal  As a result of the 1961 UN Single Convention signature countries have made possession and cultivation of certain substances listed in the Convention a criminal offence. However, the substances themselves are not illegal, which raises the question that if plants like cannabis, coca and the opium poppy are not illegal on what basis can or should the police and armed forces search the countryside to dig up or destroy uncultivated plants.

 

Source

By Julian Buchanan http://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/blogs-2/

Respectfully Decline Unlawful Searches – Do Not Refuse

Update: “After refusing a random body search on the train, by SAP, I was taken under guard to the Cape Town Station SAP office, and forcibly searched without a warrant. They got nothing, and let me go. I got their names to lay a complaint. I live in a constitutional democracy, not a police state. No warrant, no search. – Jeremy Acton, Dagga Party.”

Breaking News: Jeremy David Acton, leader of the Dagga Party of South Africa has been taken into custody, at Caledon Square in Cape Town, until a warrant can be presented to authorise a search on his person.

Jeremy was taken into custody after he refused to be searched by a mob of cops on the train. They have now taken him to Caledon Square. Where they will search him. We are unsure if a warrant is being issued or will they continue with a search without a warrant.

See this video maybe it can help you in a similar situation.

Respectfully decline unlawful searches and You can go v2.0

Peace officers upholding the law.

For those that do not understand and think that this is promoting lawlessness, consider that all crimes are still punishable under common law. Should you harm anyone with your recklessness you are fully liable and no amount of money can buy you out of it, as it can with statutes and acts. Without good excuse, the punishment under common law trail by jury for harming someone on the road is severe, and a very effective deterrent that cultivates responsible driving (and living). It is a big statement, but in my opinion there is no need for licenses etc. at all. A person with money is hypothetically (probably provably) much less likely to adhere to a speed limit for example, because on a psychological level he knows he can afford the ticket. How can a rich guy legally be less liable proportionately than a poor guy? This is the end-result of consenting to statutes and acts. It cultivates irresponsible behavior and disregard for others.

P.S. A “police man” wears two hats. One is as a police official, enforcing statutes and acts through your consent. The other is a Peace officer, who took an oath to uphold the common law and keep the peace. A peace officer may arrest people.

Arrest: Arrest, when used in its ordinary and natural sense, means the apprehension of a person or the deprivation of a person’s liberty. The question whether the person is under arrest or not depends not on the legality of the arrest, but on whether the person has been deprived of personal liberty of movement

Constitutional Attorney: Liberty is our inherent possession. Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ozaAqmLTFY

Above is re: California County Passes Historical Law Declaring Right to Self-Governance. As of November 4th, 2014, over 650 police (peace) officers, sheriffs and public officials have put their signature to the CSPOA constitution.

Anti Drug Alliance SA responds to Employee Dagga Rights – The Truth

We ask those who use cannabis to be realistic and understand that the general public are very misinformed and dubious about cannabis.

Anti-Drug-Aliance-Responds-To-Employee-Dagga-Rights-Article_img_0

Employee Dagga Rights – The Truth

This article is reference to an article written on the Dagga Magazine website (
http://daggamagazine.com/2014/11/02/employee-dagga-rights/

).

The Anti Drug Alliance of South Africa has often been quoted in the mainstream media as being advocates for the legalisation of cannabis in South Africa. With this being said, we believe that the proposed Medical Innovation Bill is a fantastic way to begin the process.

We believe that cannabis has huge potential medicinally, and commend the people that are advocating the legalisation of the plant.

There is literally millions of pages of facts surrounding the benefits of cannabis use – some scientifically proven and studied, others unstudied and unproven (as yet). However, as the Anti Drug Alliance of South Africa, we believe that we are obligated to ensure that the public are made aware of the real facts, and the real benefits. This is a fight that will always call morality and religious and cultural beliefs into question, and so, in order to make sure that the public gets the raw truth, we have to stick to the science.

In South Africa, as we have mentioned, legalisation (for medicinal use) is being debated. This is a big step for our traditionally conservative country, and there are many that are adding their voices to the call.

We ask those who use cannabis to be realistic and understand that the general public are very misinformed and dubious about cannabis.

We have to speak with one voice and stick to the facts.

A recent article on the Dagga magazine website, (
http://daggamagazine.com/2014/11/02/employee-dagga-rights/

), makes certain claims regarding the use of dagga. We would like to say that although we commend and agree with the spirit of the article, we would like to correct the writer as he has made some incorrect statements which may lead to confusion and ultimately incorrect beliefs which contradict South African Law.

The article states that (verbatim) “Modern drug tests can only determine whether you are a user of dagga.”, and “Currently there is no dagga test that can determine if a user is under the influence of dagga.”

The writer is correct regarding the first statement. Most drug tests today indicate the presence of THC or cannabis metabolites in the person’s blood stream, urine or saliva.

The second statement is true as well, however, we say this on the side of caution. Cannabis is metabolised through our system at different rates. Whereas one person may ingest cannabis (at irregular intervals) and have completely metabolised it within 5 or 6 days, another could take 10 or 12 days.

Regular users can (after ceasing use) look at positive test results from 6 weeks up to 6 months, depending on the person’s weight, gender, how long they used for, how much they used and a wide variety of other factors.

The writer states:“Do not consent to drug testing unless your employment contract specifically covers drug testing or your company has a comprehensive Occupational Health policy in place.”

Most corporate companies have Substance Abuse Policies in place which speak about drug and alcohol use and abuse. Many forward-thinking companies have even included other forms of addiction such as gambling, pornography and even OTC and prescription medication abuse.

We agree that you should ensure that before being tested, that your company has a policy in place which can enforce testing.

As a whole we have no real gripes with the article in question, as the writer has researched well and explained user’s rights very well. The conclusion of the article has several bullet points which we would like to discuss.

We will note these bullet points and highlight those which are incorrect.

  1. While dagga is illegal don’t smoke at work.
  2. Don’t keep dagga on you, in your vehicle or at work .
  3. Get legal representation.
  4. Inform your representative of the scientific facts surrounding dagga. It is highly likely that he/she doesn’t know much except for propaganja.
  5. Remember: Tobacco, alcohol and coffee are also drugs.
  6. You are not a drug addict for testing positive for dagga use.
  7. You are not a criminal for testing positive for dagga use.
  8. You are not proven intoxicated or under the influence for testing positive for dagga use.
  9. You have not broken any laws by testing positive for dagga use.
  10. You are not guilty of misconduct for testing positive for dagga use. Especially so if you only smoke dagga on your own time and in the privacy of your own home.
  11. Misconduct, in regard to testing positive for dagga, can only be proven where the company is also implicated. Eg. You are found to be in possession of dagga while driving a company car or you smoke dagga in public while wearing company uniform.

Point 1. We agree.

Point 2. We agree.

Point 3. We agree.

Point 4. We agree.

Point 5. We agree.

Point 6. We agree, although, like any drug – legal ones included – we would like to state that addiction can happen to anyone at any time. Abusing any substance is easy, and if your work or personal life is affected in any way whatsoever because of your use (or abuse) of a substance, we urge you to seek help.

Point 7. We DISAGREE. Act 140 of 1992 clearly speaks about this. In Chapter II (Illegal Acts), section 4 states (verbatim):

“4. Use and possession of drugs.—No person shall use or have in his possession—

(a) any dependence-producing substance; or
(b) any dangerous dependence-producing substance or any undesirable dependence-producing substance,”

We would like to highlight the following sentence: “…No person shall USE or have in his possession…

According to South African law, use of the substance is a criminal offence as well.

So, if we interpret the law correctly, if the substance is in your system, it means that your are legally in possession of it AND have used it as well, which is a criminal offence.

This means that technically, should you test positive for a drug in your system, your employer is actually compelled by law to report this to the Police, otherwise they may be complicit in a criminal offence.

Point 8. We agree.

Point 9. We DISAGREE. We have clearly shown above that by having dagga in your system, you are breaking the law.

Point 10. We neither agree nor disagree. This is difficult, however, many corporate companies’ substance abuse policies state that a positive result for alcohol or drugs is seen as misconduct, and can be an offence which incurs instant dismissal.

Point 11. We neither agree nor disagree. We cannot argue that dagga is (currently) illegal. We have shown that dagga use and possession is illegal, and by using it, you are by law then in possession of it in your system. Hence, as stated in the paragraph above, many corporate companies’ substance abuse policies state that a positive result for alcohol or drugs is seen as misconduct, and can be an offence which incurs instant dismissal.

Conclusion by The Anti Drug Alliance of South Africa

We would like to commend the writer of the article published at http://daggamagazine.com/2014/11/02/employee-dagga-rights/ for a well written article, however, as activists in the legalisation of cannabis in South Africa, we would like state that we must at all times ensure that we know the law and our rights.

By giving incorrect information, we give credence to our opponents who state we ourselves use propaganda to disseminate information.

We ask all of our friends and colleagues in the cannabis legalisation arena to make sure we stick to the facts only, and also to make sure that we do not interpret the law to suit our agenda. Remember, we are already in the spotlight for our beliefs, and if we become radical and make incorrect assumptions and statements, it strengthens our opponents.

Remember, even if we disagree with a law, it does not give us the right to break it, however, we have the constitutional right to challenge it.

By giving incorrect information, we simply flush our credibility down the toilet and allow those who oppose use to highlight this and destroy our chances at changing the law for the better.

This document was prepared by Quintin van Kerken, Chief Executive Officer or the Anti Drug Alliance of South Africa.

Please feel free to contact the writer at
info@antidrugalliance.com

or call on 081 577 7715.

Employee ‘Dagga Rights’ – What You Need To Know

Currently there is no dagga test that can determine if a user is under the influence of dagga.

Modern drug tests for dagga can only determine whether you are a user of dagga. There is no reliable scientific way to prove intoxication or determine that you are under the influence of dagga while performing your duties as employee.

Do not consent to drug testing unless your employment contract specifically covers drug testing or your company has a comprehensive Occupational Health policy in place.

If you are a daggafarian, do not despair, all is not lost.

marijuana in the workplace

As a daggafarian, the most likely scenario you will find yourself in is a disciplinary hearing. They will have to determine if you are addicted or is it a case of misconduct. If they find you are “addicted”, they will have to offer rehabilitation support and if your rehabilitation is a success your case will be dismissed and you will remain employed if however they find you are not an addict the hearing will continue on the basis of misconduct, especially so when dagga is found on you.

Make sure that you seek legal representation for when the matter is brought before the CCMA arbitrator.

Your best counter argument

You must argue that the drug test does not prove intoxication. The test implicating you does not prove you where under the influence of dagga while you where performing your duties as employee.

Scientific Fact

There is no known scientific method for testing dagga intoxication in a similar manner to alcohol.

THC metabolites, which most tests look for, remain in the body long after you have smoked dagga.

You may have smoked your last bong on Saturday night and depending on how frequently you toke, you could still test positive months later.

Conclusion

  • While dagga is illegal don’t smoke at work.
  • Don’t keep dagga on you, in your vehicle or at work .
  • Get legal representation.
  • Inform your representative of the scientific facts surrounding dagga. It is highly likely that he/she doesn’t know much except for propaganja.
  • Remember: Tobacco, alcohol and coffee are also drugs.
  • You are not a drug addict for testing positive for dagga use.
  • You are not a criminal for testing positive for dagga use.
  • You are not proven intoxicated or under the influence for testing positive for dagga use.
  • You have not broken any laws by testing positive for dagga use.
  • You are not guilty of misconduct for testing positive for dagga use. Especially so if you only smoke dagga on your own time and in the privacy of your own home.
  • Misconduct, in regard to testing positive for dagga, can only be proven where the company is also implicated. Eg. You are found to be in possession of dagga while driving a company car or you smoke dagga in public while wearing company uniform.

The arbitrator’s decision is final and money talks. Please see sources more information.

medical-marijuana-privacy

What you need to know about drug testing in the workplace

The South African Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 85 of 1993 is the national legislation that protects employers, employees, and all business stakeholders from injury and death, and also covers various aspects of occupational health to ensure that the workforce and those who supplement and rely on it are protected at work. Every business in every industry can benefit from observing the law in this regard, especially where those businesses are affected by the overt and subtle dangers of drugs.

Employees and the OHS Act

Employees who use and abuse drugs during working hours or who arrive at work under the influence of drugs are putting themselves and their colleagues in danger. The OHS Act states emphatically that employees will take reasonable care for their own as well as their colleagues’ health and safety – as well as the health and safety of any other people who are affected by his actions or omissions. Someone under the influence of drugs can cause huge problems in this regard, especially by the irresponsible nature of drug abuse. Their absenteeism, errors on the job, as well as possible accidents not only cost time and money in terms of equipment and productivity, but can also endanger the lives of others.

Employer responsibilities

As an employer, your duties include preventing employees from coming to and staying at work if you can clearly deduce that they are under the influence of drugs (or alcohol). As part of this prevention plan, you should include a policy on drug and alcohol testing, which every employee should be made aware of when they sign their employment contract. You have the right to conduct random or motivated drug and alcohol tests to not only protect your business, but your employees too. However, it’s important that you don’t infringe on employee rights in the process, which include:

1. Employee consent

Before you perform drug and alcohol tests, you need to gain consent from your employees. This can be gained if you have a full, contractual Occupational Health and Safety Policy in place, which is set out in the employment contract. The employee’s signature on their employment contract subsumes their consent for drug testing.

2. No undue discrimination

It’s important that you don’t single out specific employees for drug testing in a discriminatory way, but that random testing is indeed random. If drug testing is justified by the nature of an employee’s job (i.e.: heavy machinery operation that risks their and others’ lives), then gain their consent prior to testing.

3. Follow due procedure

If you need to search an employee for drug possession, it’s important to follow due procedure: respect the employee’s right to privacy; only perform same-sex searches (men search men, women search women); and have an unbiased witness present. If an employee refuses a drug test when you have adequate grounds to believe they are/were under the influence while engaged in their employment duties, they may face disciplinary action. However, be 100% sure that you are following due procedure according to the OHS Act

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article should not be taken as legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal council from a CCMA representative or an attorney dealing in labour law. 

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The Day The Constitution Died

The Constitution of South Africa dies every time someone is arrested and prosecuted for dagga.

Many South Africans, who value the prohibitionist approach to drugs, might be bewildered by such a statement but the reality is that the Constitution of South Africa fails to protect several rights that are violated by the Drug & Trafficking Act No. 140 of 1992 and by those upholding old laws that stem from segregation and racism.

Dagga laws are justified in accordance to the limitation of rights contained in the Bill of Rights in Chapter 2 of the South African Constitution.

“The rights in the Bill of Rights are subject to the limitations contained or referred to in section 36, or elsewhere in the Bill.

Limitation of rights
The rights in the Bill of Rights may be limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including-

A. the nature of the right;

B. the importance of the purpose of the limitation;

C. the nature and extent of the limitation;

D. the relation between the limitation and its purpose;

E. and less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.

Except as provided in subsection (1) or in any other provision of the Constitution, no law may limit any right entrenched in the Bill of Rights. “

Let us review dagga law using the guidelines for the limitation of rights as contained in the Bill of Rights.

The opening statement makes it very clear that any limitation of rights must be based on human dignity, equality, freedom, must be justifiable in an open democratic society and all relevant information must be considered as well as the following:

A. the nature of the right; The Drug & Trafficking Act No. 140 of 1992 and the enforcement of the act limits most rights on the bill of rights by criminalising the possession of dagga. From human dignity to privacy and everything in between. Most importantly the right to privacy and freedom. State experts argue that the main goal of dagga law is to protect South Africa citizens from the potential harms from dagga.

B. the importance of the purpose of the limitation; How important is it to limit society’s exposure to dagga. How important is it to uphold unjust dagga laws and for what purpose?

The state may argue that, in relation to dagga, the limitation of rights are justified to protect society from the potential harms and abuse of dagga.

In light of this methodology: Why is alcohol and sugar legal? Even James Wilmot from the Democratic Alliance recently stated in an interview on SABC Newsroom with Eben Jansen that dagga is not nearly as harmful as they previously thought.

Conclusion – It is very easy to justify the purpose of the limitation of rights, in relation to dagga, if you disregard scientific fact in favour of propaganda.

C. the nature and extent of the limitation; The limitation is far reaching and the impact to society is debilitating, by criminalising the possession of dagga and severely punishing otherwise law-abiding citizens.

D. the relation between the limitation and its purpose; The goal sought by the limitation of rights, in regards to dagga, is to protect children and society from dagga.

However under the enforcement of the Drug & Trafficking Act dagga is unregulated and is sold in schools.

E. and less restrictive means to achieve the purpose. First of all you need to understand that the limitation of rights, giving power to the Drug & Trafficking Act, does not achieve the purpose that was intended with the Act’s enactment.

Contrary to what you might expect and depending on the perspective the issue of “dagga rights” are viewed from one can determine that the answer is not less restriction but rather more regulation to control dagga in a similar manner as alcohol.

Win-win; Regulation would give freedom and dagga rights to daggafarians while also offering more protection to minors in regard to early exposure to dagga as is the case with it being a common item in schools.

SA Human Rights Commission’s final comment on dagga rights
Recently the South African Human Rights Commission has closed a case lodged on behalf of all cannabis using citizens in South Africa.

The complaint sought the immediate protection from prosecution under unjust dagga laws for all daggafarians.

Although the Commision agreed with many aspects contained in the complaint, the Commission simply stated that they can do nothing because:

“The Commission does not have the power to invalidate a law”

This is alarming. Think about it for a moment.

What if the Immorality Act No. 5 of 1927 was still in effect today?

Would the limitation of rights and the fact that the act is law justify the enforcement and rights violations of this unjust law?

There is no difference between the injustice of a law that criminalises people for having an interracial relationship and a law that criminalises people for making a safer choice by choosing dagga.