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Now We’re Talking Proper! MP’s Told Cannabis Cultivation Limit Should be 3 500 Plants Per Person – Or 35 000 Per Household!

Four flowering plants per person? That’s pathetic in the view of the Azibuye Emasisweni Institute of Wellness and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AE). Its spokesman Siphiwe Xulu told MP’s that this kind of limit on the amount of plants an individual could grow – in terms of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill – was just not on the radar. He said AE, a Durban-based activist organization with around 80 members, saw no benefit in an over-regulated cannabis market. There’s no point in restricting usage or consumption, he said.

“We reject the bill in its current form” he said. Cannabis should be regulated like alcohol or tobacco for which there were no restrictions on individuals producing their own product. “If we are going to allow people to cultivate their own plants then it should be 3 500 plants per person or 35 000 plants per household” he said. He wasn’t joking. 

He also called for the immediate release of all cannabis prisoners and said the expungement of criminal records did not go far enough. Restitution to the victims of cannabis oppression was required.

Xulu said that black South Africans were being “systematically excluded” from the cannabis reform process. “Big pharmaceuticals are bullying the consultative process of parliament and are using their dominant retail powers to distribute cannabis. On the other hand poor people continue to be arrested if they attempt to trade cannabis products. Regulatory bodies like SAHPRA have not performed correctly”

He said that ever since the draft bill was developed there had been an increase in the number of arrests of cannabis users, particularly in poorer communities.  This was unacceptable, he said.

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