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Similarly the El Paso Ordinance of 1914, was promulgated to control the Mexican meant to control the Mexican weed called “Marihuana”, which was ultimately used to control Mexican people, the U.S. Department of Treasury created the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) under First Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger. Under Anslinger, the Bureau lobbied for harsh penalties for drug usage. The FBN is credited for criminalizing the plant called cannabis.
Cannabis & hashish extracts and tinctures & elixirs were the 2nd and 3rd most used medicines in America from 1842 through the 1890s, and even the U.S. Pharmacopoeia of 1851 stated illnesses that cannabis could treat. These included asthma, neuralgia, glaucoma, nausea, epilepsy, depression, rheumatism, arthritis, alcoholism and others.
On a political platform the U.S. Government’s decision to include Cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, together with heroin and other pharmaceutical drugs went against the findings of Federal researchers at the time. Moreover this framework was imposed on the rest of the world via inclusion in International Treaties which still hold sway today and dictate policy in smaller countries as the consequences for breaking the treaties are complex and severe.
A very odd dilemma now exists as 93% of people polled in a recent survey feel cannabis should be legalised. Even the US Government finally admitted that cannabis kills cancer back in August 2015.
Stigma and the effects of prohibition
The United States adopted the Mexican narrative, stigmatizing marijuana consumption and eventually conducting a militarized war against the substance. This stigma remains present today in spite of the wealth of information and research and the testimonies of millions of people regarding the many benefits the plant offers. It is obvious that the criminalization of Cannabis use has caused many more problems than it has ever solved.
Prohibition has increased the incidents of addiction to drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, mandrax and many other illegal and dangerous drugs. Cannabis is charged with being “the” gateway drug when in fact, according to statistics, this is clearly not the case. Alcohol, however, could very well be named the most dangerous of all.
At a forum on The effect of the legalization of Cannabis on International Treaties, Sandeep Chawla, Former Executive Director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said the following (see page 21):
“We may eventually get to the first step to remove what was quite clearly the weakest and most vulnerable point of the whole [International Control System] which was something that has been obvious for thirty years, but that nobody has ever been able to do anything about because of the dead-weight of multilateral consensus, and that was to include Cannabis in the same control regime as heroin and cocaine and methamphetamine. That auditing needs to be removed from the system.”
He goes on to say: “and what we have to I think guard against, is that there are too many vested interests in the world in favor of keeping the present system ticking over as it is, and those vested interests need to be tackled.”
Big pharmaceutical companies announced their intention to produce trademarked Cannabis drugs, in other words, to cash in on the legalization of Cannabis and corner the market with patents. Clearly, Cannabis is doing something right as these corporate companies support the movement because they stand to make billions out of the products. It is therefore essential that responsible use of Cannabis be made fully and freely available to all South Africans as a genetically pure and natural resource.
“You can’t take a plant and patent it,” Kenneth Kaitin (Director of the Center for Drug Development at Tufts University)
Cannabis is the most versatile, efficacious plant on earth, which offers a massive range of benefits including nutritional, medicinal and socio-economic.
“Experts” have led us to believe the opposite however it does not take an expert to do some research and go through testimonials from people like you and I. Pharmaceutical companies benefit from the stigma that Marijuana is a “dangerous drug” and it shows.
Within the search for the truth, you will find that the Law on Cannabis is unclear and poorly implemented, causing a mixed message. The drug trade has been expanded and empowered by outlawing the use of Cannabis.
“The fact that, in the United States, there are people serving ten-year prison terms for growing marijuana plants in their backyards while Wall Street racketeers, who have defrauded millions of people and destroyed the global economy, walk free is a kind of bizarre hypocrisy that boggles my mind.” - Mark Haskell Smith
Cannabis can only be obtained illegally and therefore drug dealers have the opportunity to push hard drugs onto the vulnerable and uninformed. Avid cannabis smokers, in general, prefer to grow their own to avoid this contact with illegal sellers. Drug dealers are well aware of the cycle of addiction and they know how to lure the misinformed to get what they need, money. Media releases often show how much is confiscated in comparison to say heroin, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamines etc., cured (dried) Cannabis is clearly the biggest seller. With `all that is said, smoking Marijuana is still 114 times safer than consuming alcohol (which is legal) based on studies.
The majority of people who use Cannabis for the first time come from pure curiosity to see what the fuss is about. If these people find any benefit (whether it be medical or recreational), they risk getting a prison sentence in order to get more from the illegal drug dealers. The illegal status of Cannabis has caused prices to go from R5 up to R250 per gram as it is a risk to grow. This then puts money in the pockets of drug dealers worldwide whose main aim is to sell hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and crystal meth. It is easy for vulnerable children to get sucked into drug crime via gangs and then in return become addicts, dealers or criminals. When youngsters do happen to spend some time behind bars whilst the wheels of “justice” slowly grind, they come into contact with hardened criminals. What little self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem they may have had left takes a real knock - this can literally be the beginning of the end for them. The organizers of crime smile all the way to the bank – they definitely do not want us to legalize Cannabis. Everyone is aware that legalization will liberate massive police and legal resources (funding, manpower, equipment, etc.) that could be deployed on actual criminals.
Our addiction statistics has been skewed for years. When caught with Cannabis, the choice offered by our justice system is rehab or prison. Either of these choices puts the stigma on the person convicted. Rehab is the obvious decision for most although they then stand as a self-confessed addict.
It is possible to go without smoking for long periods at a time without any severe effects or problems. Psychological addiction is a possibility, although no more so than a desire for coffee, chocolate, shopping or watching TV. Once Marijuana is mixed with mandrax, alcohol or any other substance (which is often the case) the addiction lies therein and not within Marijuana itself.
Recent research, investigation, and documentation by real people in real situations has destroyed every serious negative allegation regarding the responsible use of Cannabis and yet the state, even in its most recent legal responses, is still trying to convince us that it is “a dangerous drug” despite quoting no recent, independent, documented evidence to support this claim. Stating that Marijuana is a “dangerous drug” is a laughable matter as there are many testimonies from people who have fought drug addictions with Cannabis and it also helps them keep off the hard drugs, not to mention the medicinal benefits as stated on our website.
Mild side effects to smoking Cannabis (not necessarily present in the medicinal preparations) i.e. dry mouth, munchies, possible paranoia due to increased self-awareness – whatever is bundled up in the person's subconscious mind becomes clear and this can be uncomfortable for some.
“The most common unpleasant side effects of occasional Cannabis use are anxiety and panic reactions. These effects may be reported by naive users, and they are a common reason for discontinuation of use” - Joey Gouws (Director of the Medicines Control Council)
Ed Rosenthal’s “Marijuana Growers Handbook” 2010 states “To date, the results of 79 controlled clinical trials on humans have been published, along with more than 15,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis and cannabinoids, as well as more than 2,000 articles on the body’s natural endocannabinoids.”
Medical Innovations Bill – Government Gazette, 18 February 2014 No. 37349 Page 6 (5) “legalize and regulate the use of Cannabinoids for medical purposes and for beneficial commercial and industrial use”.
Government studies (particularly in the U.S.A.) have proven Cannabis to be “the least toxic plant known to mankind - it is physically impossible for a human being to overdose on Cannabis” Read the book ‘Marihuana Reconsidered’ by Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D. (Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus), Harvard Medical School).
Organically grown Cannabis is less toxic than the pesticides used in our daily foods. Cannabis is not only non-toxic but also medically proven to treat symptoms of minor and major ailments e.g. Cancer, MS, Diabetes, Sleep apnea, Cerebral palsy, Pain, Depression, Arthritis, Autism, Seizures and much more.
“Cannabinoids [the active components found in the flowers or buds of the Cannabis plant]may cause anti-tumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis. [9-12] Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as anti-tumor agents. [13,14] Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their no transformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. For example, these compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glaucoma cells in culture and induce regression of glaucoma tumours in mice and rats, while they protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor.” - Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) - National Cancer Institute.
NB! Big pharmaceutical companies have been creating and selling synthesized Cannabinoids for decades. Why create a synthetic version while we have this gift as a very part of our nature? Synthetic Cannabinoids have proved to be disappointing facsimiles and have added to the stigma with proven overdoses in the U.S.A. It is unnecessary since anyone can actually grow and use Cannabis in its natural form for recreational and medical use.
Current South African law enables us to apply for permission to use Medical Cannabis via a doctor and the MCC, which would then follow a process that can take several months. Patients are regularly turned away, and there are currently around 4000 license applications pending as of May 2017 but there is no protocol to issue licenses. This is a ridiculous process as people who apply for Medical Marijuana are out of options and don’t have time to waste on red tape.
View our page for testimonials from people all over South Africa (whose names have been withheld to protect from criminalization) that have been treated successfully to this point and ongoing.
Healing yourself shouldn’t be illegal.