Tag Archives: SAPS AirWing

Analysing The Rationalisation of Cannabis Prohibition & The Persecution of Cannafarians

Analysing The Rationalisation of Dagga Prohibition & the Persecution of Daggafarians

The Rebuttal of Dagga Prohibition: Analysing The Rationalisation of Glyphosate Herbicide Arial Cannabis Spraying as justified by the South African Police’s Dagga Ops Environmental Impact Assessment

There is no justice in persecuting any person struggling with addiction. You don’t help any druggie by jailing them. Why then do we sympathise with doomed alcoholics but we condemn responsible cannafarians?

What rationalisation is used to justify the incarceration of the cannabis culture?
Prohibition’s rationale is that cannabis must be prohibited and eradicated;

  • to protect the public from harm,
  • to curb crime,
  • to eradicate crime syndicates & gangs,
  • to reduce early exposure to children,
  • to uphold the rights of citizens to life, freedom, dignity, respect & security.

Why shouldn’t cannabis be legalised & regulated?
There’s absolutely no reason why cannabis should not be legalised and there are about a billions reasons why it should be legalised & regulated around the world.

  • Create a whole new industry & eradicate unemployment
  • Health benefits
  • Alternative source of energy, eg bio diesel.
  • Alternative source of textiles & building material
  • Alternative source of plastic & paper
  • Nutritional value & dietary essential
  • Only known plant with a full & comprehensive cannabinoid profile that supplements the endo-cannabinoid system
  • Safer alternative to alcohol & tobacco
  • Regulate out of the hands of children, syndicates & gangs
  • Protect users by education & regulating the standard quality of the produce.

 

The Rebuttal of Dagga Prohibition: Analysing The Rationalisation of Glyphosate Herbicide Arial Cannabis Spraying as justified by the South African Police’s Dagga Ops Environmental Impact Assessment
The Dagga Ops EIAconsists of three documents, composed of an 11 page rationalisation for the eradication of cannabis by aerial spraying titled “A Perspective On The Aerial Spraying Of The Illicit Cannabis Crop IN THE TRANSKEI”, the registration of Kilo Max (Glyphosate) herbicide signed into commission on 25th May 2005 by the senior superintendent D. Naicker, commander of the head office of the narcotic & organised crime desk within the South African Police Service, and also affixed is the South African Central Drug Authority (CDA) Position Paper on Cannabis.

The most absurd rationalisation made by the South African Police Service is that they believe they are upholding the Constitution and the rights of citizens including daggafarians by upholding & forcefully enforcing dagga law.

“South Africa is committed to reduce the availability of drugs (control and law enforcement) and the demand for drugs (prevention, treatment and rehabilitation), thereby upholding the constitutional rights of its citizens to have their dignity respected and protected, the right to life and the right to freedom and security[ Sections 10 and 12(1) of Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No 108 of 1996)].” – South African Police Service, Dagga Ops EIA
Part 1 – Page 3

This is seriously confusing, by forcefully barring the use and cultivation of dagga, and by jailing people who choose to use and cultivate dagga the Government & South African Police Service are upholding the dignity & rights of daggafarians? The right to life, to be free, to be respected & protected?

This notion is awfully contradicting because the Drug & Trafficking Act of 1992 is in breach of these very rights they claim to uphold. Hence why the Cape Town High Court has issued a judgement for this act to be amended.

There is no dignity in being labelled a criminal. There is no freedom when you are jailed for making a safer choice. You have no life if you cannot choose to use dagga for its medicinal properties?

As we continue to analyse the rational of the mandate its irrationality will come to light.

 

“In terms of the under-mentioned Article 14 of the United Nations 1988 Convention against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psycotropic Substances, signatory countries are compelled to take steps to eradicate illicit crops, such as cannabis”
Part 1 – Page 3

Al-Bashir: South Africa as a signatory to the International Criminal Court had a legal & lawful obligation to arrest Al-Bashir upon the issue of an international warrant of arrest for charges of war crimes. This was ignored by the Government thus establishing that as an independent country South Africa can disregard international laws and legalise dagga.

 

“BILL OF RIGHTS:
Drug Control, which is the regulation of production, distribution, sale and use of specific controlled substances rests on two pillars, namely demand reduction and supply reduction.

Supply reduction refers to policies or programmes aiming to interdict the production and distribution of drugs. Drug law enforcement (including cannabis eradication) is one of the strategies for reducing the supply of illicit drugs.”

Part 1 – Page 3

Dagga prohibition does not work to reduce supply when dagga is freely available in almost every school in South Africa.

 

“Adding another drug to the same category as alcohol and tobacco would be a historical mistake,”
Part 1 – Page 3

Clever propagandists; alcohol & tobacco are only drugs when it aligns with their agenda.

Certainly we cannot throw cannabis into the same category as alcohol & tobacco, because according to the latest research cannabis is much safer than the two. We should never forget that alcohol, tobacco, sugar & even nutmeg are also drugs.

We must also remember that legalising dagga will not add another vice because even though dagga is illegal it is.

 

“HERBICIDE IN USE:
Glyphosate ‘has no residual effect in the soil and is therefore environmentally benign. It has a low order of toxicity in respect of humans and animals.’”
Part 1 – Page 1

The premise of the statement is that drift or contamination of glyphosate outside of the target or designated area is not possible. It is a logical fallacy. Just because something does not have a prolonged effect does not mean it is environmentally benign. The toxicity of glyphosate is also downplayed, the World Health Organisation have admitted that glyphosate does cause cancer.

 

“Glyphosate ‘is freely available to the public under the brand name TOUCHDOWN PLUS’”
Part 1 – Page 1

This statement is to affirm that because the product is freely available to the public it must be safe. Unfortunately many unsafe products are freely available to the public.

 

“SAFE SPRAYING PRACTICES:
The equipment with regard to aerial spraying had been developed to a very high degree of sophistication to ensure that chemicals are applied to the target area.”

Part 1 – Page 1

Just because the technology is sophisticated does not mitigate human error or other environmental factors like sudden & unpredictable changes in during spray operations.

 

The toxicology of herbicide used by the SA Police Service was reviewed by an independent, qualified toxicologist. The development of the eradication programme was done under the personal supervision of the toxicologist.
Part 1 – Page 1

The dagga eradication programme was developed under the guidance of a single “expert”. Who is he/she? What are his/her qualifications? It is highly irregular that such drastic measures are overseen by only one expert. (Since writing of the article the expert has been identified as Dr Gerhard Verdoorn)

 

Only pilots and members, trained and certified to handle crop spraying chemicals, are utilized during spraying operations.”
Part 1 – Page 1

Pilot certification & experience does not make glyphosate less harmful.

 

“Cannabis is cultivated in South Africa in mainly arable, relatively water rich areas, especially mountainous terrain covered with indigenous flora. Spraying must therefore be executed under the most stringent conditions, as to not damage these highly sensitive eco-systems. All spraying is controlled and executed in accordance with scientific principles and acceptable toxicological practices.”
Part 1 – Page 1

Just because the eradication programme was developed in accordance to scientific principles and acceptable toxicology practises does not mean in practise it does not have any negative impact on the environment, the food crops, livestock and the people in the immediate vicinity.

There are no guarantees that the dagga ops pilots follow scientific principles and acceptable toxicological practices every time they go out on an operation.

 

“The calibration of equipment is frequently checked and spraying is only done under the most favourable conditions. Weather conditions, such as barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, dew point and inversion conditions are continuously considered to minimize the risk of spray drift, as well as to ensure that the chemicals are effected to targets.”
Part 1 – Page 1

Calibrated equipment cannot compensate for human error, the unpredictable nature of wind nor can it make glyphosate less harmful.
Here the document admits that spray drift / contamination occurs during normal operation and at best they can only minimise the risk, they cannot avoid risk.

 

“Aerial spraying of illicit narcotic crops (including cannabis) with Glyphosate is recommended by an Expert Group of the United Nations. The Expert Group expresses them very clearly on specific issues such as damage to the environment, chemicals and application technology (areal application). In this regard they:
• Clearly state that significant damage is caused to the environment, including forest eco-systems, resulting from inter-alia cannabis production and that these impacts are totally unacceptable. It was stated and emphasized that with regard to adverse environmental impacts, illicit narcotic plant production and processing had a very much greater impact on the environment and potentially on human health, than the control methods applied in any eradication programme.”

Part 1 – Page 1

Any agricultural malpractices may cause damage to the environment this is true; however this does not apply to every outdoor cannabis crop. This would need to be investigated individually. This statement would have you believe that cannabis is not indigenous to Earth and is an invasive weed that must be eradicated to extinction.

To insinuate that spraying cannabis crops with glyphosate is less harmful than growing cannabis is an insult to intelligence of an average man.

 

“Recognize the development of highly affective, environmentally safe herbicides. They reaffirm earlier conclusions that when used responsibly and with caution that these herbicides have low negative environmental impacts. The toxicology of compounds (including Glyphosate) had been considered by them.”
Part 1 – Page 2

The premise here is based on perfect weather conditions and perfect execution, neither of which translates in practise. Thus a low negative environmental impact is highly unlikely in the real world.

 

“Application technology e.g. precision of application reducing any potential environmental impacts, such as aerial spraying by helicopters, is fully recognised in eradication programmes. It was stated that specifically against cannabis, very effective control can be achieved with certain aerial spray equipment, with no evidence of herbicide effects outside the target area.”
Part 1 – Page 2

Circumstantial and baseless claim with no references.  Evidence does exist to show effects of glyphosate outside of target areas.

 

“South Africa is a signatory to the different United Nations conventions on drug control and therefore adheres to their resolutions and recommendations regarding eradication of illicit plants such as cannabis.”
Part 1 – Page 2

Yet the South African government may disregard the orders of the International Criminal Court? Reference: Al-Bashir

Again a reference is made to the eradication of cannabis as if it is not indigenous to Earth.

How can we call for the conversation of plants on one hand while on the other we are trying to eradicate a beneficial plant into extinction?
Why are these methods not used in combating other produce of illicit trade? Why aren’t we eradicating every last abalone? Why don’t we kill all rhinos & elephant just to curb the illicit trade of rhino horn & ivory?

What makes the cannabis plant special? Why is cannabis not allowed to grow wild in nature?

 

“The South African Narcotics Bureau (SANAB) was established in 1974 in order to deal with the prevention, combat and investigation of drug-related crime, and the gathering and dissemination of drug-related intelligence. Cannabis eradication forms an integral part of its activities. SANAB is currently mandated to maintain a cannabis eradication programme. According to the definitions of this Act, performing any act in connection with "cultivation", means to "deal in".”
Part 1 – Page 2

SANAB was disbanded 11 years ago in 2004, there is no justifiable reason to continue the mandated use of glyphosate in the eradication of dagga.

 

“INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS ON DRUG CONTROL:
Despite general believe, the use or possession of cannabis will not be legalized in South Africa in the near future.”

Part 1 – Page 2

This statement is ignorant because it does not consider new scientific discoveries regarding cannabis nor does it account for cannabis legalisation around the world.

 

“South Africa is unable to legalise the use of certain illicit drugs due to its ratification of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention mentioned below. Parties to the 1961 convention are under obligation not to permit the possession of drugs for personal non-medical consumption.”
Part 1 – Page 2

Referring to how South Africa ignored the International Criminal Court regarding Al-Bashir:
We are an independent country and we cannot be prescribed by foreigners on issues that affect South Africans. We may consider their guidance but we do not have to follow it.

Furthermore Colorado, a US state, as well as Uruguay have legalised recreational cannabis in defiance of the 1961 Convention.

 

“Cannabis is by far the most widely and most frequently abused drug listed in the international drug control treaties.”
Part 1 – Page 2

This is incorrect. Worldwide, alcohol is the most widely & most frequently abused drug.

 

“In its latest report, the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) invited all governments and other relevant bodies to take note of and discuss the new liberal policies in a number of countries and pointed out that the World Health Organization should be involved in the evaluation of not only the potential medical utility of cannabis, but also the extent to which cannabis poses dangers to human life. If the results of scientific research objectively show that cannabis is medically useful, it will remain a scheduled substance, one that deserves strict control.”
Part 1 – Page 2

They don’t yet fully understand the “potential medical utility” or “dangers to human life” but have decided cannabis will remain a scheduled substance & deserves strict control, unlike alcohol which you can abuse to death. A bit premature don’t you think?

 

“The Central Drug Authority also considers the issue of decriminalization one that needs to be researched thoroughly before deciding the way forward. In the recent case of Prince versus The Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope before the Constitutional Court, the question of legalising the use of cannabis by Rastafarians came under scrutiny. The Constitutional Court did not judge in favour of the appellant, but reserved its judgement.”
Part 1 – Page 4

The research has been done. Colorado & Uruguay have successfully legalised and regulated recreational dagga.
Thus far we have only covered the first 4 pages of the Dagga Ops EIA and it is clear that this mandate is out-dated and does not consider the latest world scientific research of dagga and glyphosate.

It is our view that Dagga Ops is in violation of the Constitution of South Africa in respect to the well-being of the ecology of South Africa.
The mandate’s rationale is out-dated and we call upon the Minister of the South African Police Service to repurpose the helicopters used for Dagga Ops to fight real crime like domestic violence, rape and murder or to aid in finding missing children or even the early detection of forest fire to prevent a repeat of the devastation caused by the Knysna fires.

Dagga is a harmless plant that deserves to grow in the wild, public park or in the gardens.

#DaggaOps Environmental Impact Assessment

Finally after months our struggle for information has yielded success.

The South African Police Service forwarded a copy of the #DaggaOps Environmental Impact Assessment to the Dagga Magazine after a successful Promotion to Access to Information application.

We have only had time to skim through the 3 part report however the perspective dagga is viewed by the government is very grim.

View the #DaggaOps EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) at your own peril as it will even bring down the highest and happiest of daggafarians.

More to follow soon.

Link to #DaggaOps Environmental Impact Assessment: http://dagga.za.net/u/?i=5

SAPS AirWing In Full Force Poisoning Daggafarians & The Transkei

There is no doubt that in this desperate economy you will find people peddling dagga, contaminated by SAPS AirWing, pushed onto them by desperate growers.SAP Airwing #DaggaOP 2

The other day I visited an expensive lodge on the other side of the Mzimbubu river, Port St. John, where I found the 3 (SAPS AirWing) spray-copters in the photo. Apparently they are using Round-Up Ultra (Glyphosate), from Monsanto to kill thousands of hectares of cannabis on the remote steep slopes of the Transkei. The spraying will continue until April, March when the crop is harvested.

SA is the biggest producer of dagga in the world and also the biggest consumer. Most of the high grade outdoor stains are grown in the Transkei and much of it it exported.

At the moment it is very difficult to buy local good quality dagga in the Transkei. Most of the stuff currently being sold all over SA comes from Swaziland and Lesotho!

When these choppers spray large areas of soil they not only kill these valuable crops but also entire eco systems- the land then loses much of it’s top soil and when it rains the rivers carry thousands of tons of rich fertile soil into the ocean. It is devastating! (This soil loss is also caused by poor planting methods and over grazing – mostly by goats).

The Transkei is a particularly poor part of SA with many people struggling to subsist. Hence the high crime rate (which in turn discourages tourism). It’s a vicious circle. These coppers not only spray fields but also people and animals. IT CAUSES CANCER!
The pilots tell of heart-rending stories of entire villages on their knees, beseeching them not to spray, and of one old woman hobbling into the fields waving a white flag.

Much of Port St John’s and Lusikisiki’s economy is dependent on growing dagga. South Africa is a signee to various International anti-drug agreements, and the spraying that occurs twice annually is apparently funded by UN, UC & DEA.

The local communities vote for a national governance that makes agreements with foreign nations to destroy one of our most valuable crops.

Smoking dagga is a African tradition: Besides, Cannabis and Hemp offer many medicinal and other wonderful benefits to humanity.

 

A Dagga Movement follower says:

This does not often get revealed in news that peeps are willing to believe.

It explains the problems some people have had with needing ‘rehab’ and suffering psychotic episodes – the organophosphate poisons the pigs spray does not kill the plants – does not prevent them making it to market. It does poison the consumers.

Main symptoms – ‘chemical’ smell and full size but hollow, finger-crushable seeds.

Richard Fletcher

Please find a few articles relating to the SAPS & government and the spraying of dagga crops.

10 Feb 2009 – Flying high with Kimberley SAPS Air Wing

Const Whiteley, Capt Cloete (pilot) addressing the learners and Sgt Mark Douglas with the Squirrel helicopter used to spray dagga plantations
Const Whiteley, Capt Cloete (pilot) addressing the learners and Sgt Mark Douglas with the Squirrel helicopter used to spray dagga plantations

 

June 17, 2005 – Swaziland Marijuana Growers Unstoppable, Police Say

From high in the kingdom’s remote northern mountains comes “Swazi Gold,” a potent variety sought after in consumer markets in nearby South Africa, which completely surrounds the New Jersey-sized country, as well as Europe and North America. For Swazi farmers, marijuana, or “dagga,” as it is commonly known in southern Africa, is a crop worth growing, despite police raids and herbicide spraying. Smugglers will pay farmers about $150 a kilogram (2.2 pounds), a significant amount in a country where the average annual income hovers around $1500.

30 January 2004 – SAPS receives helicopter and belly tank spraying systems from US government

SAPS Air Wing takes delivery of a new Squirrel helicopter and three belly tank spraying systems donated by USA Government.

Today, at a special ceremony at the SAPS Air Wing in Pretoria, Deputy National Commissioner, Andre Pruis, symbolically received the key for a new Squirrel helicopter and officially took receipt of three belly tank (dagga) spraying systems to be fitted to three of our aircraft.

The new Squirrel helicopter boosts the police’s fleet of this particular type of helicopter to six and our total number of helicopters in service to 26. With the fixed-wing planes at our disposal, the SAPS now boasts a total of 38 aircraft.

This Squirrel will be based in Potchefstroom. “The unique ‘hot and high’ performance capabilities of the Squirrel makes the aircraft ideal for the extremely hot flying conditions experienced in the North West Province”, said Commissioner Pruis. “With an extended endurance range of approximately 600 km, this helicopter will almost double the reach of the Air Wing and will increase their reaction time – this proves extremely effective in responding to crime situations in both rural and urban areas”, he added.

The belly tank spray systems donated by the US Government, represented by Ambassador Cameron Hume, will be of great assistance to the South African Police Service as our previous aerial dagga-spraying equipment became inoperable during 2002.

Pruis advised: “Although it is illegal to cultivate and supply dagga, the growing demand for this drug means that – to the unscrupulous – the earnings derived from this trade by far outweigh the risks attached”. Dagga is traditionally cultivated in the mountainous and inaccessible areas of the country, which means that aerial spraying is the most efficient means by which this drug can be destroyed.

Ambassador Cameron Hume addressed those present and said that assisting in the fight against drugs and crime in South Africa is one of his key priorities. “It is in the US interest to share our experience with South Africa and to assist where we can in fighting the drug trade. The tanks will allow the SAPS to conduct spray missions against illegal drug crops. This is one of the most important tactics used in destroying the illicit drug chain”, he noted.

Commissioner Pruis also thanked the South African Police Service’s airborne law enforcement officers for their professionalism and commitment to fighting crime from the sky. “Over the past six months our pilots and their technicians have rendered air support to various operations resulting in, among other successes, the recovery of 38 stolen or hijacked vehicles with an estimated value of R5 million. They also assisted in the recovery of 19 stolen or illegal firearms and the arrest of 57 suspects in connection with these seizures”, he said.

February 12 2002 – Dagga-spraying chopper comes down fast

A routine dagga-spraying operation went horribly wrong when a police helicopter crashed on to a sports field, seriously injuring the pilot in the Midlands town of Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.

The accident happened about 7am when the pilot, named only as a Senior Superintendent De Waal, came in for refuelling at the South African Police Service base next to the sports field after spraying dagga crops in the area.

As the helicopter was descending, it hit a lamp pole, tilted and crashed to the ground, said police Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram.

The helicopter did not catch alight.

The solo pilot sustained neck and back injuries and was airlifted to a hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

No one on the ground was injured.

Weenen SAPS station commissioner Captain Len de Lange said the helicopter was extensively damaged.

The Civil Aviation Authority and the SAPS are expected to investigate the cause of the crash.

September 30 1999 – SAPS DaggaOP herbicides/pesticides raise environmental alarm

While the head of the SA Narcotics Bureau (Sanab), George Mason, has refused to name the poisons being used to kill dagga fields in Swaziland, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, environmentalists fear that the herbicides could harm other crops, cause damage to human health and force growers into environmentally sensitive areas.

Senior Superintendent Mason confirmed this week that the destruction of dagga crops has resumed after a two-year lull. He denied that there had been a moratorium on cross-border operations.

“These operations are extremely expensive. It was mainly because we had no money to maintain our helicopters that we have not been doing them,” he said.

Earlier this month Mason briefed MPs about plans for “Operation Matekwane”. He said the operation would begin on September 24 with the approval of Swaziland. Lesotho was excluded from the operation as it had not been present at a key meeting.

Mason told the Cape Times that “a variety of chemicals” were used in the operation. “All I am willing to say is that the chemicals we use have been approved by the proper authorities,” he said.

Keith Cooper of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of SA said Sanab is known to have used Glyslophate in their operations. “Because they use helicopters, the chemical spreads over a large area, which means they normally destroy other crops, like peaches, as well.”

Cooper said Sanab operations force cannabis growers into sensitive areas, which in the long run may cause large-scale environmental degradation. “The government must understand that most of the cannabis growers depend on the crop for their living. The money should rather be spent on the upliftment of these communities.”

Ted Legget of the University of Natal’s Centre for Social Development Studies said: “A drug like crack cocaine is a lot more harmful and the resources should be used to fight the spread of this drug. The practice of crop eradication is really feudal.”

But Frank Albert, head of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Pretoria, disagreed, saying: “We will support the process through offering training programmes. We held a workshop in Pretoria last week where an agreement was reached with South African authorities for joint use of training facilities and equipment.”

Mason said Sanab still regards possession of or dealing in dagga as a serious offence and that talk of decriminalisation of dagga is unfounded. “We signed the 1988 UN convention prohibiting the illicit trafficking of narcotics, which specifies that steps must be taken against cannabis offenders,” he said.

Meanwhile, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa – a former leader of the dagga-rich Transkei region – has called for a public debate on the smoking of the plant for recreational and religious purposes. “Though I support the law, I think we need to look at the issue. In Europe people smoke cannabis openly.”

In the first six months of this year, 1 058 people were arrested for possession of dagga, and 2 353 people were arrested for dealing. Almost 70 000kg of cannabis was seized by Sanab in the same period.

Dagga OP SAPS Air Force Patch

 

Sources

Original post on Facebook

SAPS AirWing Poisoning Dagga Consumers

Death from above: The hidden cost of cannabis prohibition

Iol News – Dagga-spraying chopper comes down fast

Wikipedia: Organophosphate poisoning

Strain Hunters: Swaziland

http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=31052.0

Paraquat Is Sprayed on Marijuana in Texas – NY Times July 20, 1988

Paraquat poisoning: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Iol News – Dagga poisons raise environmental alarm

Glyphosate poisoning

Cooperation and Accountability in the Cross-border Policing of Southern Africa

Swaziland Marijuana Growers Unstoppable, Police Say

SAPS receives helicopter and belly tank spraying systems from US government

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SAPS-gets-new-chopper-20040130

http://www.aviationlink.co.za/sapspilot.php

http://www.belowthelion.co.za/south-african-central-drug-authoritys-position-on-cannabis-is-fatally-flawed/

Flying high with Kimberley SAPS Air Wing

http://dagga.za.net/2013/07/18/true-history-of-dagga-prohibition/