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By Marizka Coetzer


Cannabis plant was decriminalised in 2018, but no progress has been made to regulate it

Dagga activist Myrtle Clark launched the Trial of the Plant 2.0 (TOTP) where they will reopen and continue with the original TOTP.

As the cannabis community gears up to reignite the fight to get the plant legalised, non-smokers were in two minds about it being freely available and its impact on people.

Dagga activist Myrtle Clark launched the Trial of the Plant 2.0 (TOTP) where they will reopen and continue with the original TOTP.

She was one of the three plaintiffs with her murdered partner Julian Stobbs and Clifford Thorp who met seven government departments and the intervening Doctors for Life in the High Court in Pretoria for the commencement of the TOTP in 2017.

Since cannabis was decriminalised in 2018, no progress has been made to legalise and regulate it.

“We want our struggles heard, our evidence to be heard and our solutions to be heard.” Clark said when they marched to the Union Buildings at the weekend “we went there to tell the government we had solutions to this cannabis conundrum plaguing all of us in South Africa”.

She said it was the start of an intensified effort to get the solution. “We won’t stop because we are not free until we are all free.”

Ria Erasmus said cannabis didn’t bother her. “I have never smoked it before but times have changed. Each to their own,” she said, adding whether cannabis was legal or illegal, people were still cultivating and consuming it.

Lisa Fourie said she doesn’t judge those who use cannabis. “I have used it in the past, but I saw how it destroyed lives and continued to destroy lives,” she said.

“I went through a difficult time about five years ago. At the time most of the young people smoked marijuana in the town where I lived, so I started smoking.

I lost touch with reality. Sometimes I didn’t even know where I was or who the people around me were.”

Daleen Marais said it helped her with her depression and to sleep better. “And if you don’t smoke it, you can eat it,” she said.

Rural criminologist Prof Witness Maluleke said the legal conservation, harvesting and selling of cannabis in rural areas could grow its struggling economy. He said the efforts from government should be geared towards protecting and preserving cannabis to aid poverty reductions and unemployment.

ALSO READ: You can’t legalise cannabis for private use and criminalise selling it, says farming group

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

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