In a memorandum sent to station commanders by Col. D.R Mangena, the provincial head of operations of the South African Police Service, have requested that police officers stop arresting suspects for possession of dagga. They have also set a limit of 3kg per person before any police officer can arrest a suspect for dealing or possession of dagga.
Adults who choose to use dagga responsibly can be found from Cape Town to Johannesburg and everywhere in between and even neighbouring countries especially Swaziland & Lesotho. Dagga: The number one illicit herb in the world has become the most popular recreational “drug”. It is even giving tobacco and alcohol a run for its money.
In South Africa dagga prohibition is taken so seriously that not even a cannabinoid filled fart is missed undetected. A university student, from South Africa, discovered you can test how much marijuana is used within a suburb by testing a neighbourhood, a complex or even a house’s main sewage line.
You see, In South Africa dagga is so potent that officers and even government officials who come near the bud wear hard hats, bullet proof vests and even Ebola-rated safety hazmat suits.
The cost of policing dagga
In 2010 there were 1116 police stations across South Africa employing 150513 officers. This organization managed to confiscate 2000 metric tons of dagga between 2012 and 2013. That is 2 billion grams of dagga.
By 2014 the South African Police Service in conjunction with the South African National Defense Force confiscated 3500 metric tons of dagga upping their yearly take by 1.5 billion grams to 3.5 billion grams of dagga.
A news article boasted about a single police station from an average suburb that have managed to arrest 16 people for dagga possession on a single day!
In that article and so many others you commonly see that there is a task force that deal with dagga policing. Although the narcotics division has been disbanded years ago there are still groups within the police that serve on the frontline in the war not only against people who choose to use a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco but against a wonder plant that is a herb comparable to nutmeg.
In most photos used in media reports of dagga busts you will see that there are in excess of 5 police officers per daggafarian. Don’t be paranoid but the ratio of cops that are out there looking for you, daggafarians, are 5 to 1.
If we start calculating with these estimation, variables and introduce a random function the true cost of the war on dagga becomes clear.
One police station is able to arrest between 1700 to 1900 persons for dagga per year.
1116 police stations are able to arrest between 1050000 to 1140000 persons for dagga per year.
The cost of arresting & convicting a single person for the possession of dagga is estimated to the tune of R250 000.
With these estimations we calculated that the cost of policing dagga is between R262.5 billion to R285 billion per year!
Value of a legal dagga industry
We recently calculated that the value of dagga confiscated by the South African police between 2012 and 2013 is about R22.3 Billion when using Uruguay’s fixed price of US$1 or R12.13 per gram.
It was also calculated that the total value of dagga that evades the police in the same period is about R 218.6 Billion..
Ultimately this means that the police spend a pessimistically calculated R262.5 billion to make an R22.3 Billion dent in an R 240.9 billion market.
Do you think R1 spent on dagga prohibition is money well invested?
Another four people arrested on coast for possession of dagga
Two females and two males were arrested on Tuesday in Betania and Umzumbe for possession of dagga. A 26-year-old woman was arrested at a house in Umzumbe after a 20 litre bucket full of dagga and 23 parcels dagga were found . The weight of the dagga was 961 grams. A 45-year-old woman was arrested in Betania with nine parcels dagga weighing 60 grams in her possession. Two males (28) and (44) were also arrested in Betania with one parcel of dagga weighing 4 grams and 30 parcels dagga weighing 70 grams respectively. The woman in Southport appeared in court on Wednesday and the other three were given fines. http://www.ehowzit.co.za/news/crime-watch/dagga-arrests/
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.
In January 2012 police cut down what was essentially a dagga forest in Soweto worth R4 million. Then illegally disposed of the dagga bio mass by burning it, presumably where it was cut & piled up.
“Residents watched from a distance as throngs of soldiers and police in more than 30 vehicles descended on Meadowlands hostel at 8.30am while a police helicopter hovered above.”
Think for a moment about the scale of this operation and the amount of man power being fruitlessly wasted on what can only be described as violating human rights, gardening and illegally burning waste.
More than 31 government vehicles including a helicopter, a battalion of soldiers and police officers armed with assault rifles and tactical gear swooped down on harmless plants and then unleashed an onslaught of terror until the last weed has yelp its crackling cry and blown it’s last breath out billowing smoke in reminiscence of the Soweto uprising of 1976, condolences to the lives lost, however the war on drugs is an equal violent act upon not only the daggafarians of Soweto but also the community’s access to medicine, an industrial sector and a wealth generator.
Consider the quality of service delivery by municipality if they could have the budget that funds an all out war on a harmless weed.
Imagine the waste of burning this bio mass needlessly without a purpose that is beneficial to the community in which it is illegally burned.
Who is paying the South African National Defense Force & South African Police Service for doing gardening, illegally burning bio-waste & harassing otherwise law abiding citizens? Never mind the tax on the carbon emissions of all the dagga that has to be incinerated annually or the otherwise law abiding citizens that needs to be housed and fed daily in a correctional facility?
Who pays SANDF & SAPS for doing gardening, illegally burning waste & harassing otherwise law abiding citizens?
Victims of rape, murder and victims of other real crimes are the ones who ultimately pay the price.
The South African dagga Culture of South Africa have lost many daggafarians in the war on drugs, that is in disguise a war on our people.
Marcus Garvey Uprising 2010
Never will we forget what transpired in Marcus Garvey.
Marcus Garvey is a small Rastafarian community, or as our friendly government puts it, an informal settlement, in the suburb of Philppi in the heart of Cape Town.
The poverty stricken community is known for grow dagga as it is their only source of income.
Cape Town Flying squad and Metro police conducted a raid on the informal settlement and confiscated 950 dagga plants grown by the community.
The angered community retaliated by throwing stones at police in protest and protecting their livelihood the only way they could.
“On Thursday morning more than 60 police, metro and law enforcement officers raided the Rastafarian informal settlement of Marcus Garvey in Philippi.
Some 950 dagga plants, worth thousands of rands, were confiscated from the plantation and nine people were arrested in the hour-long raid which turned violent when residents started throwing stones at officers.
Police retaliated by firing rubber bullets into the crowd. One man was injured.”
Ras Champion Nthlapho was shot during a dagga raid and died under police guard at Groote Schuur Hospital.
Ras Champion Ntlapho was shot at close range with what police claim were “rubber” bullets.
“He put up his hands and one of the Metro cops fired a shot while standing in front of him, then he was taken away by cops,” – Ras Fire
Due to the extent of Ras Champion’s injuries he later passed away while under police guard at the Groot Schuur Hospital.
In protest of Ras Champion’s death 50 Rastafarians, holding posters with “blood on your hands” and “JZ come to Marcus Garvey” marched to the Philippi East Police Station.
The angry but mourning crowd stood up together against unjust dagga law by lighting a dagga pipe in front of the cops and shouted
“We are practising our culture”.
“Women and children are being raped and drugs are everywhere,” another man shouted.
“Why not go and arrest the law-breakers, smoking ganja is our culture.”
The memory of Ras Champion Ntlapho’s will never fade. We have not forgotten the injustice that resulted in his death.
Ras Champion Nthlapho is a hero who died fighting the post apartheid struggle for the freedom of all Rastafarians and daggafarians.