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SAPS Continue Cannabis Onslaught Despite Legalization Debate

Police Minister Bheki Cele has been completely unresponsive to calls from several organizations for a halt in cannabis-related arrests while the National Master Cannabis Plan (NCMP) is being discussed.


Alleged police brutality against cannabis users

The Marijuana Board of South Africa (MBOSA) says police brutality against cannabis users continues: MBOSA chairman Steve Khonou told Cannabiz Africa on 8 May 2021:

“The fact remains that the police system is in cohorts with the justice system in dealing harshly with the previously marginalised marijuana users. No longer are we charged with possession but we are charged with dealing. Rastaman from Mahikeng was arrested with one gram, tortured by police to admit guilt and paid R200 for admission of guilt. This is not an isolated case in any rural or township in South Africa. We can lament until tomorrow but until we address the failure by Government to amend the Drug Trafficking Act and other dagga acts human rights violation will continue” he said.

SAPS Continue Cannabis Onslaught

SAPS onslaught against cannabis continues unabated


Among the latest arrests was on 30 April 2021 when police in Gugulethu in Cape Town arrested a 27 year old and seized a ‘bakkie load’ of dried cannabis.  In March 2021 two men were arrested in Cradock in the Eastern Cape for dealing in 18 kg of cannabis. In January a man was arrested at a police roadblock at Beafort West in the Western Cape with 160 kg of cannabis worth R320 000 concealed in six tog bags in a taxi trailer.


Justice Minister got prohibitionist to draft cannabis bill!

And it has now been revealed that Justice Minister Ronald Lamola appointed a prohibitionist as the architect of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill and appears intent still on continuing with the “Trial of the Plant” despite the September 2018 Constitutional Court Ruling that consuming cannabis for personal use is not illegal.

It has also emerged from a lengthy affidavit (dated 5 May 2021) submitted by Lt Col Johan Smit on behalf of the Ministers of Police, Justice and the NPA, in response to the Haze Club (THC) prosecution filed with the Wynberg Magistrates Court on 8 May 2021, that effectively shows:

  • SAPS is sticking the letter of the law and will arrest and prosecute anyone it suspects of a cannabis-related crime until such time as the law is changed;
  • SAPS is challenging the constitutionality of private cannabis clubs;
  • SAPS is in favour of the draconian penalties for private cannabis growers who exceed their quota as set out in the draft Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill;

The NPA has not withdrawn the ‘Trial of the Plant’ as the case against the so-called “Dagga Couple, with co-accsused Myrtle Clarke, still out on R1000 bail. (see Astounding Beyond: Trial of the Plant against Dagga Couple still on the court roll)

At the Fields of Green for All (FGFA) manifesto launch on 20 April 2021, Myrtle lashed into Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Police Commissioner Kethle Sithole, accusing them of ignorance and a lack of cognisance of the law in their approach to drafting the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, which she said most activists rejected in its entirety:

“Mr Lamola, we reject your Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill entirely. Every word of it. How can you assign an advocate who was on the opposing side of the  courtroom in the Western Cape High Court Application (to legalize cannabis) to oversee the legislation? You got a prohibitionist to write the bill! That’s what you did Mr Lamola!. Mr Cele and Mr Lamola, we will fight your ignorance, your lack of cognizance of the law, your bullying and disregard for our human rights every single day ”


FGFA Charl Henning’s latest report on police harassment of cannabis users is here


2 Responses

  1. We need to continue fatting for this. We are going make sure that listen to us and give us what is over due to us.

  2. GREETINGS I AM MMAKGOSHI MOREMA DEP CHAIR OF MBOSA Its a patriarchy way still, the way the police and system it self dealing with marijuana , as its a female plant on records hemp(male plant) its been used enough especially in construction and more, the rope that carries anchor in ships its made out of hemp plumbing pipes hemp is used to strengthen them so we call this women abuse when Mr cele refuse us to use marijuana its not just a plant its a sacred one .ANTU is mother nature marijuana herself we say ARISE ANTU BRIDE OF YAWEH I, LEAVE MARIJUANA BE USED AND SAVE THE NATION SAPS.

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