If California gets the green nod, then why not South Africa? Our very own Dagga Couple is waiting in the wings to see how and when the South African government is going to legalise cannabis – as a medical substance and as a recreational element. Early this year, California dished out 1400 licenses for businesses to sell cannabis legally for all purposes. Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke are amused as cannabis is still deemed a schedule 1 drug by the USA federal government, on a par with heroine! How can weed be legal in California but the authorities ban cannabis in some edibles and in strip clubs.
But it seems to Stobbs that the Californians have it right – their Bureau of Cannabis Control Notice of Approval of Emergency Regulatory Action & Final Text of Regulations is 219 pages long. In South Africa, argues Stobbs, the laws are not reducing the harms of dagga use at all. Everyone can get hold of cannabis somewhere. In California, though, there is a catch – buying cannabis is very expensive and it is taxed. Licences cost plenty of dollars which could encourage the black market to keep on blooming. Californian residents are restricted as to where they buy their cannabis but nothing much has changed in the past 20 years – medical marijuana has been legal and few people were ever prosecuted for carrying it around.
Some useful guidelines for South Africa regarding a complex issue. For Stobbs and Clarke it is just better that cannabis is legal and the misuse should end. Every law in the world will be different but as long as people do not abuse the laws and use cannabis sensibly. If cannabis becomes legal, obey the rules and regulations, simple!