This Memorandum was handed to a representative of the WC Commissioner of the SAP on 21 September 2013.
Commissioner Lt. Gen. A. H. Lamoer
Western Cape SAPS
25 Alfred Street
Memo handed to Lieut. Col. Luyt
Dear Commissioner Lamoer, and all members of the SAPS.
An Open Letter Calling for Cannabis (Dagga) Awareness in the SAPS.
For over 100 years,the prohibition of Dagga in South Africa has resulted in an ongoing battle between those who use or cultivate dagga, and the SAPS, who are required to enforce the prohibition. This battle has resulted in great harm to our society and many lives have been lost as a result of this law.
The futures of many citizens have been destroyed by the application of the law against Dagga, and yet citizens continue to use Dagga every day, and no amount of criminalisation will ever stop the use of Dagga by South Africans. We, the people of the Dagga Culture, who gathered here today (Saturday 21 September 2013, Cape Town) are unanimous in our claim of our rights to use dagga, and we call into question the justifications for the prohibition.
The State claims that the purpose of the prohibition of dagga is “to prevent harms caused to society by drugs” (to quote Justice Ngcobo, in judgement of Prince vs President of the WC Law Society, Case 36/2000, CCT) but to date the State has never provided scientific substantiation of the harms caused by dagga, nor ever acknowledged the harms actually caused by the law as it stands.
Over the last few years Dagga activists for legalisation, including myself, have researched the History of the prohibition of the Dagga plant, and have researched its medical effects and its previous use in the human economy and in various cultures around the world.
Today we inform you that the prohibition is based on lies about its supposed dangers, on historical racism, and on the ongoing wish of the government to maintain a police state and be able to oppress citizens. The prohibition also exists for the benefit of global pharmaceutical companies, to hide the well documented medical benefits of dagga for human health, and to protect the market and money interests of corporations such as the alcohol, tobacco, cotton, synthetic fibre, biotech, soya, and the fossil carbon (oil,coal) corporations.
Dagga provides nutritious hemp seed which is the most nutritious and easily farmed seed on Earth. The seeds provide a healthy seed oil that is essential for human health. Dagga provides the longest and strongest plant fibre on the Earth and was a key resource before prohibition. The inside of the stalks of Dagga can easily be converted into bio-plastics and liquid fuel for vehicles. The plant is the most productive and water-efficient agricultural crop at our disposal but it is prohibited to prevent access by citizens to the usefulness of the resource.
Did you know, Commissioner Lamoer, that it has always been cheaper to produce fuel from Cannabis than it EVER was to extract oil and coal from the ground? Yet we all suffer today the economic hardship and climate change risks caused by the fossil fuel companies and the prohibition of Dagga that they sponsor. We now also face the dangers of fracking in the Karoo by fossil carbon companies, when in fact, all our farmers, all our citizens, could be growing the fuel we need.
On the medical front, Dagga has also been found to treat a myriad of ailments, including asthma, Multiple sclerosis, flu, Parkinson’s, bowel diseases, epilepsy, immune diseases like arthritis, to name but a few ailments, and it is also very effective in preventing and treating CANCER. We claim our right to cultivate and have access to this medicine and this economic resource, and we, the citizens of the Dagga Culture, shall not be refused because we have a right to health and equitable, productive participation in our economy.
We call on the entire SAPS and other South African citizens to research the facts about the Dagga Plant to become informed at a personal level about the potential social and individual benefits of Dag and to stand with the people for legalisation. We call on you all to actively motivate by all official means available, for the legitimisation, legalisation and regulation of this Creator-given resource for the public benefit.
It is no longer acceptable to us that the SAPS blindly applies the law as it stands. We call for you to recognise that criminalisation of Dagga and other drugs is not working, and for your support of a new, humanitarian, rights based medical model for the reduction of the harms caused by drugs in South Africa.
We who stand for legalisation have summonsed the State in the High Court to justify the law against Dagga, and the State has refused for more than a year to file answering papers in dispute of our claims about the Dagga Plant or to make any effort to recognise our rights as a Culture, and yet, the prosecutions continue. Until the State replies, we call on the SAPS to exert discretion and a go slow in the prosecution of the law against Dagga, because the State is hiding from the truth and is in denial of our rights, and the SAPS should not be misused to promote evil agendas.
In order to assist the SAPS in finding out more about dagga, we include a CD of facts and research about Dagga in this memo, which has also been submitted to the State Attorney who must reply to our summons for the justification of the prohibition.
We ask the members of the SAPS to henceforth act as informed and conscientised citizens at all times, in relation to the issue of Dagga, whether in uniform or out of uniform and to support a Dagga legalisation paradigm in South Africa that will:
- Promote solidarity, co-operation and hope in all communities.
- Maximize the economic benefits of cannabis and provide employment to all who seek it.
- Minimize harms, including the harms caused by prohibition.
- Provide an environmental solution to the problems of dwindling fossil fuels and climate change.
- Enhance the productivity of agriculture and promote tourism.
- Reduce crimes related to poverty and crimes of violence.
- Be of minimum cost and hassle to the State and the SAPS.
- Positively affect South Africa’s balance of payments in the global economy.
- Provide a ‘win-all-around’ solution for the State, the citizens, law enforcement and for the rights and wellbeing of future generations.
We, the citizens of the Dagga Culture, thank you for hearing us and ask and hope for the support of the SAPS, to the highest level, for the legalisation of Dagga in South Africa. It is time for our nation to GROW!!.
For my People, for my Culture, for our nation,
IQELA LENTSANGO: The Dagga Party of South Africa