Category Archives: Dagga News

Dagga News

#DaggaOps: Our Struggle For Access To Information

After our 5th request for a copy of the #DaggaOps Environment Impact Assessment from the South African Police Service failed we decided it’s time for more drastic legal measures.

In February 2015 a Facebook post of a picture of three Dagga Ops helicopters used in the spraying of dagga crops in the Transkei with glyphosate went viral we felt obligated to ask the South African Police Service a few questions.

The response we received on the 17th of February 2015 from SAPS spokesperson Solomon Makgale:

Good afternoon editor of Dagga Magazine,

Apologies for the delayed response. Your media enquiry on the subject matter dated 2 February 2015 refers.

Kindly receive the response to your enquiry as follows

Question 1: Was an environmental impact study conducted on the harms to the ecosystem and people by routine dagga crops spraying by helicopters?

ANSWER: Yes. A study was conducted in conjunction with SANAB, a file of the study can be made available if required.

Question 2: What chemicals are used by the SAPS Air Wing Dagga Ops to spray dagga crops?

ANSWER: The SAPS Air Wing uses a chemical called Kilo Max which is a glyphosate herbicide family. All precautions as contained in the “instructional pamphlet” are adhered to by members. Kilo Max has been scientifically and biologically proven to be non-toxic to ecosystem and humans. This was also confirmed by the study conducted by Dr Paul Kojo Mensa on the study titled “ Environmental Water quality Management of Glyphosate-based Herbicides in South Africa ,2012. The study was conducted in the Swartkops River (Eastern Cape area), it revealed that using a Glyphosate based herbicides (which Kilo Max is) had a negligible (if not at all) impact on the physicochemical and biological conditions. Therefore allegations that the chemical has a negative impact on the ecosystem and humans is baseless.

Further, all pilots involved in dagga spraying are trained, qualified and certified by both Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Civil Aviation Authority ( SACAA). They are registered with the DAFF and qualified to spray  Crops. They have a SACAA Rating on Crop Spraying.

Question 3: Who signed off on the authorisation of Dagga OPS?

ANSWER: The Ops was approved by the Component Head: Operational Mobilisation and Support Services as part of the SAPS Drug  Eradication Master Plan. It is an annual Dagga spray operation conducted by the Air Wing and it is contained in the SAPS Section  Annual Performance Plan 2014/15.

Then the struggle for information begun

We took up the offer presented by SAPS spokesperson Solomon Makgale and requested that he supply us with a copy of the SANAB Dagga Ops Environment Impact Assessment.

After our initial request was left unanswered we sent a second request for access to the assessment in which we also asked if the South African Police could recite any law that exempts them the from laws prohibiting destruction of property via air spraying without an arrest or physical proof of dagga.

The response we received was very disappointing as it did not contain the environment impact assessment.

Solomon Makgale’s response: “I believe that we have responded to all your questions. There is nothing new to add.”

By the 2nd of March we have sent our 5th request to receive a copy of the document as was offered in our email conversation with the SAPS spokesperson.

On the 3rd of March we decided that it is time to apply for access to information as afforded by the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

A J750 PAIA was filled in and sent off to the Department of Justice who then directed it to the attention of Information Officer at the South African Police Service.

The SAPS information Officer speedily notified us that the request has been received and that it may take up to 30 days to deliver upon the request and that a fee will definitely apply as stipulated in the fees section of the Promotion of Information Act.

Now we eagerly await the deadline which is around the middle of April, just in time for 4.20 D-Day.

The reason why the Environment Impact Assessment is so important is because without the backing of the assessment the it could mean that the South African Police Service have been conducting illegal dagga spray operations for the past 15 years.

Edit: After the article was published, yesterday, on the 17th of March we received confirmation that our application for access to the Dagga Ops Environment Impact Assessment was successful.

They have sent us the Notice of Request Fee and we must now pay R35 to receive the information.

2015-03-18 13.24.47

Expect more info soon.

Editor

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

SAPS Air Wing DaggaOps Crimes Against Humanity

We were taken deep into rural Pondoland to see first hand the effects of the SAPS helicopter glyphosate spraying.

It seems to be so indiscriminate. In this photo, all the bald patches in the background (including the huge one in the bottom of the valley) had a mixture of mielies and dagga until 6 days ago.

The companion veggies were all affected. Villagers in the fields have sore throats and itchy skin and even their cattle and goats have skin lesions. One goat has already died.

If you look closely, all the remaining green is dagga that was missed in a really shoddy operation.

One old man reported being hit twice as he was plowing with oxen. He looked up and could see the pilot laughing.

Incidentally, this whole valley is a water course that eventually flows to the ocean.

Originally Posted By The Dagga Couple

The Green Depression

Many parts of South Africa is currently suffering from a ganja dry spell as daggafarians wait on the 2015 harvest. Areas relying on dagga from Swaziland and Lesotho are most affected.

The South African National Defense Force: Operation Corona has kept a tight ship on South Africa’s borders, confiscating nearly 10 000kg* of dagga in 2014 with the majority of confiscations taking place between September & December.

Meanwhile the South African Police Service have also clamped down on local supply, confiscating a whopping 25 000kg* between August and December 2014.

The South African Police Service Air Wing has also had a major hand in the dry spell with DaggaOps that routinely spray dagga crops in South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland by helicopter with glyphosate, a deadly toxic herbicide.

Despite all of the efforts by the South African Government, South African Police Service & the South African National Defense Force to eradicate dagga, at the expense of the health & well being of its citizens, it is still readily available anywhere in South Africa from the street vendors to the schools.

It’s time for South Africa to turn over a new leaf and admit that dagga prohibition is not only a failure but also a violation human rights.

* Estimates are calculated from news reports.

Police Reject Claims Of Chemical Warfare Upon Daggafarians

Anger is mounting over police efforts to wipe out dagga plantations around Port St Johns by spraying herbicides from low flying helicopters, seemingly in contravention of supplier warnings. The recent arrival of three specialised Squirrel helicopters. complete with cameras to spot plants hidden in mielie fields and indigenous bush, comes just before growers normally start harvesting illegal dagga crops.

Although dagga activists were convinced police were using toxic Roundup spray and started a social media campaign to stop them, the Daily Dispatch established that Kilo Max glyphosate herbicide was being used instead.

A statement from police spokesman Brigadier Solomon Makgale yesterday slammed the campaign and denied endangering human lives in any way.

He said all precautions in the supplier instructional pamphlet were being followed and that studies showed Kilo Max was “scientifically proven to be nontoxic to ecosystems and humans and environmental impacts are negligible.

Allegations that the chemical has a negative impact on the ecosystem and humans is baseless.” The spraying has been going on for several days without warning local inhabitants and dagga activists like Jules Stobbs claim people have been exposed to the herbicide. Others are set to return to the fields after the helicopters leave, to wash the herbicide off the dagga and try to rescue it for sale later.

‘There have been reports of mamas in their food crops waving white flags as another low-level pass commences over their kraals.” said Stobbs.

Online Kilo Max user instructions from supplier Arysta LifeScience say people need to he warned before spraying, protective clothing must be worn when entering the area before the spray dries and the herbicide must not be inhaled.

Although the instructions emphasise, “always make sure undesired plants are treated.“ concerns have been raised about spraying of plantations hidden in mielie fields.

Makgale said warning residents would jeopardise their operation to destroy the dagga.

“Humans or animals aw not targeted, The chemical spray is absorbed by the dagga plants and therefore the dagga plants start dying after four days.
The spray that lands an the soil binds with the soil and does not run off into ground water. rivers or the sea”

Stobbs, Who runs the nonprofit organisation Fields of Green for All said global research showed glyphosate was extremely toxic. “We have on-the-ground reports of whole villages being sprayed. All vegetatation is affected.”

Iqela Lentsango: Dagga Party of South Africa leader Jeremy Acton said using glyphosate was “chemical warfare against people, and biodiversity …a criminal act. Spraying this in the Transkei is criminal and malicious by any measure of rights or sanity. People in the target areas are not exempt from these harms because a manufacturer‘s brochure claims it is harmless or because the pilots may have an application certificate.”

Eastern Cape Health Department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo yesterday admitted they did not know what has being used. He said police needed to “exercise extra motion” when enforcing the law to ensure they did not adversely affect the community. “Anything deemed a health hazard should be a concern.” Kupelo said, however dagga was illegal and its use was a big problem. “Dagga is very wrong. it is
causing a lot of problems in that area. Lives are destroyed, lots of boys are mentally ill from dagga. Easy access is a problem”

Makwaleni trading store owner Elaine Haddon said spraying operations had been taking place in the morning when there was no wind. Although opposed to dagga, she said it was often the only way desperately poor people could survive. She said the weed should rather be pulled by hand instead of using sprays which poisoned food. “it is causing a lot of hardship and heartache. It is tragic that they are losing everything.”

This article first appeared in the Daily Dispatch

Pot Fiction: Dagga In Canada

Everyone knows that marijuana is illegal. So why does Canada seem to be awash in pot? You can buy it openly in a surprising number of ways and places. The system the federal government set up to give people access to medical marijuana is broken. Could it be that something’s happening out there and no one told Prime Minister Stephen Harper? Mark Kelley exposes some real Pot Fiction.

Will Dagga Convictions Stop in Knysna on March 13 2015?

Dagga’s been a vigorous debate on my sites before and on February 13 a court case in Knysna could change much about it locally.

Dagga isn’t an easy topic and it’s rare to find moderate opinion on both sides. I don’t want school kids smoking because a side affect, especially for newcomers, is demotivation – obviously legalisation will increase usage. I also don’t like falsehoods such as “it cures asthma” (as an asthmatic, i know it makes it worse – tar content is up the yin-yang). And i never want another stoner to tell me again that they drive the same as they do when not stoned – ridiculous.

On the other hand, i believe that adults who harm no one can do whatever they want within the walls of their homes – i despise our rights continuously being eroded! I also hate the hypocrisy of cigarettes being legal. In the bigger picture, there’s obviously tons of benefits commercially which, if it ever becomes a reality, will likely benefit corporates more than hippies. Medically, it can never be soon enough to use marijuana to help so many in illness or pain – how can the government tell terminal cancer patients they have no right to some of the herb’s oil?!

Our reality is that tons of people smoke in Knysna and that not all are treated the same – it seems that some get picked on by the cops more than others. And the cops boost their drug arrest stats which obscures the results for far greater dangers such as tik and heroin.

As a compromise, dagga should surely be decriminalised properly. Aim for the big suppliers, not the common men and women who our fellow citizens. I know many long term users who remain very productive members of our society.

Read about that February 13 court case, which was the Knysna-Plett Herald’s front page this week,

NB: Court date was originally reported as February 13. Is in fact March 13.

This article first appeard on KnysnaKeep.org

Malema Retweets Call For Action RE: Legal Dagga At SONA

While mainstream media is affixed with the #SONA2015 twitter requests to the South African presidency asking Zuma to legalise dagga and then resign the Dagga Magazine received a surprise notification from Julius Malema as he retweeted our #SONA2015 request calling for immediate action on the issue of legal dagga in South Africa.

Last year a motion by the EFF to national dagga was noted and accepted without any objections in Parliament.

On the 12th of February the president may give us our dagga freedoms or ignore the daggafarian culture all together. The EFF is sure to raise the issue of legal dagga at the state of the nation address debate.

Viva AmaDaggaDagga

10 Ways To Help The Legalisation Of Dagga In South Africa

You would be surprised how easy it is to help South Africa on it’s way to a legal dagga industry.

1. Sign the Dagga Couple petition.

The Dagga Couple petition has already garnered over 16603 signatures.

Don’t be afraid to enter your personal information: The Dagga Couple have take all reasonable steps to protect all personal information submitted when completing the petition. Such information will be stored in an encrypted format on a secure server.

‪2. #‎JoinTheQueue – Fields of Green for ALL

#JoinTheQueue provides you with the opportunity to challenge the prohibition of Cannabis in a combined and constructive effort through Fields of Green for ALL’s professional legal team. By choosing to #JoinTheQueue you are making a significant contribution to the progress of bringing an end to Cannabis prohibition. No longer just another victim amongst South Africa’s millions of other responsible users, when you #JoinTheQueue you become an integral catalyst for legalisation.

http://www.fieldsofgreenforall.org.za/legal/join-the-queue

3. Tweet to the politicians in power.

The 2015 State of the Nation Address – 12 Feb 2015
#SONA2015 presents an excellent platform to seek immediate relief from dagga prohibition. Act quickly we only have till the 12th of February 2015

Jacob Zuma

Helen Zille

Julius Malema

Send these tweets anytime

If you missed the #SONA2015 tweet deadline, don’t fret, these tweets you can be sent anytime, until dagga is legal in South Africa and remember you can change the message to your liking.




4. Attend the annual Global Cannabis March & the 420 Dagga Day celebrations.

The annual Global Cannabis March takes place on the first Saturday of May every year. This year the march will take place in Cape Town, Johannesburg & Durban. Find the Global Cannabis March on Facebook

  • Durban march will be from Bulwer Park to Essenwood Fleamarket
  • Jozi march will start and finish at the famous Mofolo Park in central Soweto
  • Cape Town march will start and finish close to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology: CPUT

The 420 Dagga Day celebration takes place on the 20th of April each year in Johannesburg and is hosted by The Dagga Couple.

5. Become an activist.

Activists are people who see the need for change and devote their time to doing something about it. They are driven by passion and a vision for a better future. Activism comes naturally to some, while for others, it’s thrust upon them when they experience situations that hurt them or those they love. Whatever your reason for wanting to become an activist, you have the ability to do so no matter your age, your means, or your background. It’s people like you, people who believe they have the power to make a difference, who end up changing the world for the better. See How To Become An Activist to learn more about becoming an activist. You should be independent because that shows you are committed to the situation.

6. Research, read a book & share what you have learned.

There are so many good ebooks available. Read them, share them.

The Report. Cannabis, Human Rights & The Law by Kenn D’Oudney & Joanna D’Oudney
Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink?
Jack Herer – The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Granny Storm Crow’s Medical Marijuana Reference List- January 2013
It’s Just a Plant – a children’s book about marijuana
Dagga Knowledge-base

7. Start a Dagga Party Ward in your area.

If you put a Dagga Party Majority into a local council, that council would legalize in that district. – Jeremy Acton

Unify with all daggafarians in your neighbourhood to form a local co-operative Dagga Party group. This group must include all who use the Herb, and would be an inclusive group of all races, and all religious faiths. Each ward should have a group, and where two or more wards cover an area, those wards can make positive co-operative contact for the good of their neighbourhood. Where two groups form in one ward, they must amalgamate, with the elected officials working together rather than competing against each other.

For the Gathering you can download the Ward Group Constitution, (aka the Constituent Association Constitution). You fill it in to name your group and to keep a register of members. Ensure the membership info is hidden from outsiders as the Herb is still illegal. http://www.daggaparty.org/download/CAConstitution.pdf

By doing this we effectively reshape the politics of our townships and of South Africa as a whole.
Your group must also elect a President of the Group, a Secretary and a Treasurer, and must encourage youth membership. Doing this is more important than just voting a distant leader into a Parliamentary seat, and then to just allow the Dagga prohibition and socio-economic situation in the townships to continue.

8. Become an Active Member of the Dagga Union of South Africa

Help the union gain momentum. Stand up for daggafarian rights. Currently the members group consists of over 15,971 people.

dagga.za.net/union
dagga.za.net/union/twitter
dagga.za.net/union/facebook

9. Support South African Headshops.

puff.co.za
belowthelion.co.za
Dagga Shop

10. Be Proudly Daggafarian: Get out of the ‘The Dagga Closet’!

End the dagga taboo. Show South Africa that being a pothead does not mean you are lazy, unproductive or a good for nothing.

Dagga is a taboo subject to some members of society. As a result, there are many dagga consumers that limit the amount of people they admit their dagga use to. For instance all of my friends and family know that I consume dagga, but it’s not something I told all of my co-workers at my last job due to employment policies that would fire me if my dagga consumption became known. I have never looked at it like I’m ashamed to be a dagga consumer. I just have always felt that I am protecting dumb people from themselves by not telling them about my dagga consumption, as they will no doubt react in a harsh, illogical way.

A case study would be legendary Olympic athlete Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps won 14 Gold medals (16 medals overall) for the United States so far in his life, with possibly more to come. Michael Phelps was considered as an American hero by all of society until pictures surfaced of him taking an Olympic sized bong hit. He was labeled an outcast by conservative America, condemned by parents as being a bad example for children, and lost numerous endorsement deals. This is the same guy that up until that picture surfaced, was considered the standard of what American awesomeness looked like in the new century. The fact that one dagga bong hit picture can outweigh a lifetime of achievement at a world record level in some people’s eyes is disgusting to me.

There are countless people that I worked with that knew me as a hard worker, as someone that they could rely on to get the job done, and that I was a very articulate communicator. Unfortunately, their perceptions would change if they knew I consumed dagga, despite the fact that I still possess all of the qualities that they thought made me a good person. That’s just how strong reefer madness is in some circles of society. It’s sad and unfortunate, but it is what it is.

I know that my experience is pretty standard for most dagga consumers. dagga consumers encounter uneducated, biased people everyday that are easier to avoid than confront. Have you ever argued with someone that is ‘gone off the reefer madness?’ There’s absolutely no way to change their minds. I conserve my energy by avoiding people like that and looking for people that are on the fence about the issue. I love ‘coming out of the dagga closet’ when I talk to those type of people.

I like to talk to ‘luke warm’ dagga supporters that I meet at a workplace or some other settings, and I encourage others to do so as often as you feel comfortable with. These type of citizens, which are a majority of South Africa, generally agree that dagga prohibition has failed, and that there is a lot of false hype that has kept dagga illegal for so long. I once heard Radical Russ Belville refer to a study that stated three in four people support ending dagga prohibition, but only one in four thinks their neighbor agrees. These people are just waiting for someone to bring the issue to a personal level, as some likely don’t smoke dagga themselves. However, if you are known to them as a hard worker, that you are someone that they can depend on, and you can articulate your stance on dagga to them, chances are you will sway them from being on the fence to supplying their signature for a dagga reform initiative or more.

Have you ‘come out of the dagga closet?’ If so, do you have any tips for others that are hesitant to ‘come out of the dagga closet?’ Can you elaborate in the comments section about your experience so that others can benefit from your knowledge? If you haven’t ‘come out of the dagga closet,’ why not? Is it due to employment reasons? Fear of backlash from family or friends? Are you in a relationship with someone that you don’t want to know about your dagga consumption? Some other reason? I look forward to what readers have to say.

Source: Coming out of the marijuana closet/