Medical Marijuana September 21, 2014

3 Dagga Legalisation Bills You Need To Know About

Things are heating up on the legalisation front with 3 separate Bills drawing 3 different pictures of what legal cannabis could look like in South Africa. We’ve taken a long hard look at all of the Bills and what they encompass to bring you the lowdown on what you need to know.

Medical Innovation Bill

Primarily focussed on legalising the medical applications of cannabis, with a very narrow caveat for the potential legalisation of hemp and recreational use as well, this Bill intends to see that at least one pilot hospital programme is launched to facilitate a minimum of 100 medical marijuana patients. It goes on to permit medical practitioners the freedom to depart from mainstream accepted medicines and offer patients options that are consistent with those that stem from the Bill.

Nothing is said about the production, regulation or distribution of the medical cannabis products envisioned by the Bill. Nor is there much optimism amongst the pro-legalisation fraternity. There is a big risk that local politicians will use the legalisation of medical marijuana to pigeonhole the legalisation of recreational use for decades. Much like the many medical marijuana businesses in the USA that now often oppose recreational use in order to maintain monopolies in a medicinal cannabis industry that has long enjoyed practically no competition from legal recreational sales.

With the nefarious presence of everything from bread cartels to rife political corruption in SA, the Medical Innovation Bill’s intentions may be gobbled up by government maladministration, tenderpreneurs and cronyism. Another difficult dynamic is deciding what 100 people will be considered privilegedly sick enough to participate in a pilot programme that may just be a reinvention of the international medical marijuana wheel. An ethical dilemma if ever there was one.

Cannabis Control Bill

Dealing directly with the recreational use and distribution of legal cannabis; this Bill looks at elements such as licensed growing, age limits, product labeling, medicinal use for children and advertising. Proposed is an anti-monopoly and anti-GMO model of cannabis growers, co-operatives, distributors and retailers that would be subject to strict regulation. The outcomes of the Bill are clearly stipulated in line with harm reduction policies and disempowering black market trade, while addressing the matter of those who are currently in prison or have a criminal record for a cannabis conviction.

Likely objections may arise to the small area grow limit proposed for individuals (5m²) and 10 member co-ops (50m²). Large scale growers may object to only being able to grow cannabis on 10% of their property up to a maximum of 5 hectares, potentially making it uneconomical to produce products on a commercially viable level. The high level of regulation involved for this model may also pose its own challenges for controlling what could be a very fragmented production and supply chain.

Relinquish Dagga Law Bill

Proposed is that the prohibition of cannabis should be stripped from all South African laws and prisoners be given a presidential pardon regarding cannabis only charges. Public use would be confined to the existing limits imposed on tobacco users and public awareness programmes based on objective evidence. Interestingly, the Bill seeks that there be no limit on the amount of cannabis that adults can cultivate or possess.

This brief Bill uses a broad brush to bring down the walls of prohibition; elements such as regulated retail sales and the need for quality are not addressed in any detail.

In summary

In summary, we have 3 Bills that are moving in the same direction in varying degrees. They identify with an assortment of aspects that reflect the many facets of local cannabis legalisation, but none of which tackle the on the ground dynamics of a legal demand, in what would need to be a profitable enough industry to incentivise investment.

You can view all 3 bills here:
– Medical Innovation Bill
– Cannabis Control Bill
– Relinquish Dagga Law Bill

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  • The Relinquish Dagga Law Bill has been updated to revision 1d.

    The preposed regulation in the addendum is now a separate bill called the Dagga Regulation Bill.

    Both bills are still contained in a sigle document here:

    The bill ia constantly revised

  • Updated today: Dagga Regulation Bill Rev.1b

    Ps. Buzz please would you contribute to this bill. Please give your input.

  • Rootstar

    All news is great news! Thanks for the info!

    We’re just waiting to jump to the opportunity to make money but also do what we love to do.. Obviously the Relinquish Dagga Law Bill sounds very good and it’s imperative to De-criminalize this injustice.

    I don’t know about everyone else but I really don’t want to see big corporations monopolize the whole industry. It’s probably inevitable outcome. However, I’d make it my life mission to keep any revenue generated by this from all big pharma. That’s why the fist one you mentioned sounds totally horrible. lol
    And why is the first one is the only decent one with 16 pages!? the other 2 only have 6 pages not allot of effort there..

    Very good start, but there’s still allot of kinks and procedures not covered. Of course just using any working model from the number of countries where they already worked out everything.

    The fist bill is exactly what we all don’t want to see. No more additional evidence is needed for medical marijuana. Certainty don’t want to see scientists try to use the compounds in dagga to make abomination meds. That should be the biggest concern. Everyone that thinks weed needs to be researched more to make effective pharmaceutical medicines is just fooling themselves… All the cannabinoids works together not separately and we already have loads of different applications or methods of intake.

    Good luck to all involved! Thank you for your service to humanity!
    Peace: R.

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    Rootstar – believe me when I tell you less thought went into the first bill than the 2nd and 3rd. Copy some of the text and search Google – you will see this much effort went into it … Ctrl+c Ctrl+v

    The cannabis control bill is based on research done into existing models and bills – yet takes what is enforceable in South Africa into consideration thus is simple and easy to understand and effectively manage.

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    Regulations – now those are complicated.

  • jon

    i like to know why you say that that its “interesting”, that the Relinquish Dagga Law Bill seeks no limit on the amount of cannabis cultivated, is it a contrary statement or deviation on a previous position or what? i mean, i think of it as obvious that if there is no limits on cultivation there can never be a monopoly, which is far as no limits to possession it makes sense to have unlimited amounts of herb if possible,
    in the same manner as wine lovers keeps cellars, so, i cant understand why you find it interesting pls. set me straight.
    The Relinquish Dagga Law Bill short and sweet it do not differentiate between medicinal or any other named uses and i intentionally do not use the word “recreational use” , to differentiate between the two is to purposely obfuscate.
    all uses of cannabis are medicinal, no difference, period

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    Jon I disagree – the Relinquish Dagga Law Bill will in fact be open to market monopolisation. Those with the funds to get busy will produce more than the average man can, and this will skew the market economy and is in fact not pro-poor at all.

    The Cannabis Control bill sets very strict small sizes so that everyone can participate in an equitable manner.

    The Medical Innovation Bill allows for only one license – clear monopolisation.

  • I hate bills.

  • zandise

    I wish I was part of the debate and the documentation of the bills

  • Themba

    I need a copy to spread the right word

  • Araris

    I am aware of the Medical Marijuana Bill, but I have searched for the other bills in the National Assembly, and none of the others exist there. Am I correct in thinking that these are drafts of proposals, and not bills up fore parliamentary debate? If so, this needs to be cleared up to avoid confusion, and if not, please indicate where these bills have been tabled.

  • Greg

    There also needs to be thought given to the farming of Hemp as this remains a very useful crop outside the dagga culture.

  • jahman