"Prohibition of cannabis does not work in the 21st century"

The landmark bid to legalise marijuana is due to begin in court tomorrow. Julian Stobbs, director of Social Activism at Fields of Green For All, is one of the people involved in bringing the case to court. He firmly believes that prohibition of cannabis does not work in today's society.

Stobbs says they are after the complete legalisation of the cannabis plant for all users and all people in South Africa.

I believe the status quo at the moment is rotten to the core. Prohibition does not work, cannabis is prolific on the street, the price is coming down, more people use it and the state thinks it can use punitive measures to stop cannabis in its tracks.

Julian Stobbs, Director of Social Activism at Fields of Green For All

The are many debates on the effects of cannabis, particularly on the brain. Stobbs' stance is that it can be used as a health product in certain forms. This does not refer to smoking it as a joint or in a bong, but rather the use of the cannabis plant in its entirety, he adds.

With more countries around the world legalising marijuana, Stobbs hopes this bid to do the same, will be successful. He admits that even if the law changes, it will take a while to normalise the stigma associated with marijuana.

I've been smoking for 35 years and it certainly impacts my brain everyday of my life. I am fit, well and healthy. I don't have diabetes, I don't have cancer, I don't have osteoporosis. My teeth are strong, my eyes are strong and I attribute it to the use of the cannabis plant.

Julian Stobbs, Director of Social Activism at Fields of Green For All

Arguing on the other side, Dr Jan Chabalala, former president of The South African Society of Psychiatrists, says that cannabis should remain illegal. This is due to the increased evidence linking cannabis use to schizophrenia, particularity in young people.

He also says that cannabis is a gateway drug, that opens access to harder drugs. He does not think that legalising the plant will stop this access. Another problem Chabalala has is the unproductively and lack of motivation manifested by those who smoke marijuana.

Who ever is going to leagalise it must probably be prepared to take the consequences that will arise out of it. We are going to see more young people entering mental hospitals.

Dr Jan Chabalala, former president of The South African Society of Psychiatrists

When it comes to countries who have decriminalised marijuana, Chabalala says they provide evidence of increased mental heath problems linked to the plant.

It is they that produce the evidence. The users of cannabis in all its forms, like in Holland, are the people who opened our eyes to have a look.

Dr Jan Chabalala, former president of The South African Society of Psychiatrists

Listen to the full debate below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : "Prohibition of cannabis does not work in the 21st century"


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Nehawu Wits acting secretary Tumisho Madihlaba says negotiations with management deadlocked resulting in a strike.

Colorado (population 5.5m) rakes in R6.5 billion in taxes from legal dagga sales

Colorado (population 5.5m) rakes in R6.5 billion in taxes from legal dagga sales

Dagga taxes are paying for schools, substance abuse prevention, university scholarships, night-shelters, road construction…

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May 4 marks "May the Fourth be with you," Day celebrated by fans George Lucas' fans of his Star Wars global movie franchise.

Dagga law will only be rectified by Con Court- Dagga activist

Dagga law will only be rectified by Con Court- Dagga activist

Acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane wants law enforced on marijuana users.

ACDP insists  legalising dagga is 'irresponsible'

ACDP insists legalising dagga is 'irresponsible'

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)has called for an urgent parliamentary debate on the ruling.

Dagga lobby group explains court ruling on marijuana usage

Dagga lobby group explains court ruling on marijuana usage

Fields of Green for All welcomes Western Cape High Court ruling on legal use of marijuana for adults.

Popular articles
Yunus Carrim relates how MultiChoice used its power to influence policy - report

Yunus Carrim relates how MultiChoice used its power to influence policy - report

Eyewitness News reporter Bonga Dlulane shares details on some of Carrim's testimony concerning the SABC/MultiChoice deal.

Premier David Makhura presents 'Growing Gauteng Together for 2030' 10-year-plan

Premier David Makhura presents 'Growing Gauteng Together for 2030' 10-year-plan

Eyewitness News reporter Kgomotso Modise gives a summary of the state of the province address.

When women see other women as a threat: unpacking the queen bee syndrome

When women see other women as a threat: unpacking the queen bee syndrome

Lee Kasumba speaks to Mancosa academic and former human resource executive Dr Aradhana Ramnund-Mansingh.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91

Mubarak ruled Egypt for 30 years and in 2011, he was overthrown during protests known as Arab Spring.

It is not our place to question where Duduzane's pledge comes from - UKZN SRC

It is not our place to question where Duduzane's pledge comes from - UKZN SRC

Zuma has pledged an undisclosed amount of money in order to cover some of the historic debt of students at the university.

Regulator to take action against manufacturers of recalled tinned pilchards

Regulator to take action against manufacturers of recalled tinned pilchards

Eyewitness News reporter Veronica Makhoali says the NRCS urges consumers to look out for leaking cans.

Eskom cuts power but shuns Brian Molefe and others who looted - Seth Mazibuko

Eskom cuts power but shuns Brian Molefe and others who looted - Seth Mazibuko

The Gauteng Housing Crisis Committee spokesperson says the protest is not about Soweto, but is a national issue.

History for the Future: "The trial that changed South Africa”

History for the Future: "The trial that changed South Africa”

In this episode, Andrew Mlangeni recounts how he travelled back to South Africa in the face of mounting tensions.

[LISTEN] Robert McBride reflects on his upbringing and political life

[LISTEN] Robert McBride reflects on his upbringing and political life

The former Ipid head sat down with Eusebius McKaiser for a profile interview.

'Stop pointing fingers and offer practical solutions in fight against crime'

'Stop pointing fingers and offer practical solutions in fight against crime'

Eusebius McKaiser has a frank conversation about crime in South Africa with anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee.