What lockdown teaches us about the regulation of drugs & dagga in South Africa

With reports of corrupt South African police officers stealing alcohol and selling cigarettes during the COVID-19 lockdown, it teaches us a lot about the importance of regulating cannabis, magic mushrooms and all drugs.

For the first time in the history of cannabis prohibition the buying, selling and to some extent, the consumption of alcohol and tobacco is equally illegal to illicit drugs.

Forced underground, breeding ground for corruption

Smokers and drinkers are experiencing for the first time what  #daggafarians have to deal with on a daily basis. A life where otherwise law-abiding and responsible adults are being criminalised and forced to resort to “crime” by creating and supporting an illicit market or try to brew pineapple beer or grow their own private dagga crop to “legally” consume their favourite drug.

While some have embraced the lockdown and tried their hand at gardening and homebrewing others including a group of police officers reportedly ignored lockdown to go drink at a tavern to enjoy their recreational cultural activities. 

The importance of dagga legalisation is now more apparent than ever. 

Cannabis regulation expected by September in South Africa

Sabelo Ndlovu, PMG Researcher, says the Regulation of Cannabis Bill is not on PMG’s records yet, as it has not been formally tabled before Parliament.

According to media reports, the bill was sent to the national director of public prosecutions, the department of health, treasury and other affected departments in October 2019 for comment, with a cut-off deadline of 31 January 2020. 

Ndlovu says the bill will go to Cabinet for approval before being tabled in Parliament. It will also be put out for public comment, ahead of a September 2020 deadline imposed when the constitutional court in legalised private dagga in 2018.

The Regulation of Cannabis Bill will be trackable on PMG‘s website the moment its formally tabled before Parliament.

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