Medical Marijuana December 6, 2016

Dagga Couple & IFP Discuss Medical Marijuana in South Africa

Recent developments about the legalisation of Medical Marijuana in South Africa created local and international headlines.

Last week the Law Report on Kaya FM discussed the Medical Innovation Bill and Medical Marijuana in South Africa. This is the most up to date information on the progress of legal Medical Marijuana in South Africa, and is also the first time that the Dagga Couple have had the opportunity to frankly engage with a serving member of parliament around the topic of cannabis legalisation.

The Dagga Couple and their senior attorney for their legalisation court case, Paul-Michael, were in studio and were joined on the phone by the Chief Whip of the IFP, Narend Singh, the man responsible for pushing the Medical Innovation Bill through parliament.

Dr Mzukisi Grootboom of the South African Medical Association, who had surprisingly little grasp of the international progress made in respect of both medicinal and recreational cannabis, was also a guest on the show. Citing the long debunked gateway theory and schizophrenia, Doctor Grootboom sounded like he was sticking to a 1980’s prohibition playbook.

Fortunately his time on air was limited, so the other guests had an opportunity to cordially engage. Although Paul-Michael wasn’t going to let anyone forget that both the IFP and government were worryingly silent on discussing prohibition and the thousands of lives that are ruined daily by arrests due to simple possession.

All in all it was agreed that the move towards legal medical marijuana in South Africa was a sign of ambiguous progress. It is the far bigger picture of overall legalisation that now needs to come into focus.

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  • ralph Higgo

    Difficult to convince the Portfolio Committee members that Cannabis has medicinal purposes? That’s the problem. Next year is going to be interesting for sure.

  • benjaminsa

    The IFP representative seems to be advocating for a change in the law so doctors and traditional healers can prescribe substances without the relevant double blind peer reviewed trials being done. That is incredible dangerous. It opens the door for all sorts of exploitative and phony treatments to be sanctioned by medical professionals without any consequences. The anecdote about the Mango juice at the beginning is a perfect example, that story is the worst sort of evidence, if you want to use it, fine, but if a doctor prescribes such a treatment without well vetted research that doctor should lose their licence. I would much rather see marijuana legalised and available from pharmacies for personal use and for researches to use in drug trials, but not prescribable for treatments, until those treatments have been proven, as any other medical drug requires.