The Peace Officer, The Daggafarian And The Cost

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.

South African dagga: So potent you need to wear a helmet!
Weed So Potent - Hazmat Suits
Dagga so potent: Police officers must ebola-rated safety gear.

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?


16 people were arrested for possession of dagga on 14 August after community members tipped off police.

15 arrested for possession of Dagga To curb the spread of crime, 15 people were arrested for dagga possession this past weekend.
12 people arrested for possession of dagga
Twelve people were arrested in the Westenburg policing area weekend for the possession of marijuana, and they appeared before the Polokwane magistrate’s court last Monday.
10 held in Ficksburg dagga bust
Eight men and two women have been arrested for possession of dagga with an estimated street value of R750 000 near Ficksburg in Free State.
7 people arrested for possession of dagga, over the weekend, in Orlando, Soweto.

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.



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