“Take Us to the Cannabis King!” King Khoisan Pulls In The Tourists As His Illegal Cannabis Protest at the Union Buildings Enters Year 4!
The self-proclaimed Khoisan king has been occupying a section of the Union Buildings’ lawns in Pretoria where he cultivates cannabis as part of an ongoing protest over indigenous rights. Now he’s become something of a cannabis-educating tourist attraction as local guides say he’s good for business and the cops appear to have backed off for the time being.
28 January 2023 at 09:30:00
As Cannabis Culture reports, King Khoisan and his followers continue their defiance into 2023 and local and international tourists visiting the Union Buildings’ expansive garden have taken a shine to the royal rebel.
The group had become a fascination for visitors who stop by to offer solidarity, ask more about cannabis, pose for photos, and offer food and cash donations.
“We won’t be moved – and it’s our right to cultivate cannabis, and enjoy our way of life,” vows 54 year-old King Khioisan SA.
He says it’s “disrespectful” that the modern government of South Africa doesn’t recognize his authority, has not returned his lands stolen during colonialism, and can’t allow his people to farm cannabis without any need for any lawful permission.
“This is our country, this our cannabis,” King Khoisan says.
“I like them,” says Vutt Loma, 29, a German tourist with arthritis who says she spent a day with King Khoisan, asking about how burning heating cannabis and rubbing it in her knees can dull the pain. “It was fantastic Indigenous knowledge, I got instructions even on how to inhale a few cannabis smokes as a way of lessening headaches.”
Khoisan says the avalanche of tourists visiting them in the garden of Union Buildings has not hindered their way of life for the past three years. “It’s a moment to teach the world of the colonial state in South Africa that even controls our plants like cannabis apart from our bodies.”
King Khoisan and his cannabis rebels say they are not ideological activists or rebels. “The land upon which the South African president’s house is built is essentially our unceded land. We are simply continuing our way of life hence apart from cannabis we also grow a vegetable garden,” he says.
For tourist guide, Namata Gcaba, meeting the Khoisan King camping at the South African president’s house has boosted his business. “Most tourists who board my taxi to the president’s house demand upfront: which side of the garden is the cannabis king living? Take us straight there!”
For three years, they have been living in the garden of South Africa’s president’s official home, growing a cannabis garden and other vegetables saying that, being South Africa’s First Nation, their freedom cannot be restricted by modern post-colonial rules.
Cannabis and colonialism in South Africa is an enduring legacy and complaint. Cannabis Culture has previously reported the agony whereby South African police use intimidating helicopters to spray and kill indigenous farmers’ cannabis plots; the way commercial licenses in South Africa have been doled out mainly to white, wealthy foreign corporations at the expense of Black entrepreneurs.
“Khoisan’s struggle is another front in the war against expropriation of cannabis, its ownership, and the culture surrounding it in South Africa by the post-colonial state which is still colonial and continuing anyway,” says social scientist O’bren Nhachi.
In January 2022, officers of the South African police attempted to arrest King Khoisan and his followers. They clung to a cannabis tree plant which ultimately got uprooted when they tussled with police over the arrest. Police deliberately uprooted the cannabis tree as a tactic to make sure Khoisan and his followers have nothing to cling to, said King Khoisan.
SAPS spokesperson Lt. Col. Robert Netshiunda, spokesman says that King Khoisan SA is breaking the law by cultivating cannabis, which is illegal. South Africa’s highest court legalized cannabis for commercial medicinal cultivation and processing in 2023 but Cannabis Culture has reported on South Africa’s police’s continued tough stance against individual users of cannabis.
“It’s nonsensical; it’s hogwash,” says Khoisan of the police attempts to suppress him and his followers. “I can smoke cannabis; rub my knee pains with it in our land, we have been living this way for 10, 000 years.”
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