Medical Marijuana November 24, 2016

Government Just Approved Medical Marijuana In South Africa

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It’s been three years since the medical Innovation Bill was submitted to Parliament by the late Mario Ambrosini. Yesterday saw Parliament’s Portfolio Committee of Health, who is in charge of this bill, finally make an announcement about what has been the most contentious aspect of it, medical cannabis. Government will soon regulate medical cannabis for prescribed health conditions.

To say that the Medical Innovation Bill has seen its fair share of ups and downs would be an understatement. I had the good fortune of seeing and commenting on it before it was presented to parliament. The humble couple of pages that it was inspired hope for change in South Africa’s medical cannabis policy. It was by no means a Hail Mary and caused much bickering and conflicts as soon as it became public. But this was always going to happen, as the Bill in itself was far too brief and ambiguous to put everyone’s mind at ease. But that’s where the point was probably lost on many. This was, simply put, the efforts of a dying man to get the ball rolling.

Speaking after the announcement by the Medicines Control Council and the Department of Health in Parliament today, Mr Singh of the IFP said, “This heralds a great step forward for public access and research into the use of medicinal cannabis. I feel a great sense of relief. I must thank the Department for taking up this issue with such passionate concern for our people. What matters now is that the Department ensures that access to medicinal cannabis will not be restricted to the rich, but that anyone who needs it will be able to afford it, and get it.”

The Department has indicated that the new regulatory framework could be available as early as the end of January 2017 for stakeholder comment, and could be implemented as soon as April 2017.

Singh added, “Today I saw MPs across the political spectrum join together for the common good of all South Africans. The introduction of Dr Oriani-Ambrosini’s Bill in 2014 galvanised a concerted effort by all stakeholders, the result being that we will shortly have a working blueprint and regulatory framework for access to medicinal cannabis in South Africa. We look forward to seeing that happen.”

Even the DA got in on the action “We welcome the progressive path that the Department has taken on this issue and urge the Minister of Health to sign-off on the new regulations so that the process can be opened up to public comment.

The faster this process can be undertaken, the quicker these products can be made available to those who need it. This will ultimately give patients and their health care provider’s greater choice in treating certain difficult conditions through the use of safe, medicinal cannabis.”

There was talk by the committee of moving cannabis from a Schedule 7 Substance classified as having no medical value to a Schedule 6 rating that will remain extremely restrictive on the research, production and distribution of the plant. This is something that prominent local activists, The Dagga Couple, were concerned about. “We monitored tweets from an ENCA reporter at a parliamentary hearing in Cape Town. There was talk of taking dagga out of schedule 7 and reducing it to schedule 6 to get round Section 21 medical growers license applications. This, of course, will have no bearing on the +/-1000 daily arrests for possession in SA.”

Come what may with all the T, H & C’s that will now be penned by official people in official places, it remains to be seen if medical cannabis in South Africa will be a product by the people for the people or if it will be Zupta’fied into some highly profitable industry that will only benefit a very select few or only the very sick.

Latest update 07 March 2017: Government releases guidelines on medical marijuana

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37 thoughts on “Government Just Approved Medical Marijuana In South Africa

  1. Consider this…

    The MCC who has issued the licenses to the cannabis research monopoly for the past 16 years, is going to be left alone over Xmas to come up with the rules and regulations without public participation.

    This will not be a fair and equitable access to cannabis.

    Furthermore how can the MCC justify changing the cannabis scheduling without a scientific review? Why should it be rescheduled and not completely removed?

    1. Well I suppose its all new to our Government, so baby steps will do for now and they did mention about getting the “Blueprint” for medically approved strains and oils etc. etc. There is already enough proven research internationally for them to achieve this.
      This is the first time since the Hippie 60’s that the government is going to allow the use of cannabis in S.A, thus being said, since when was it ever a schedule 7 drug if it was illegal all this time? My other question is while they sorting out the blue print etc.etc, are we able to get growing permits so long to be able to help and supply by Jan 2017. It only 4 and 1/2 weeks away. And where or who can we contact for this?

      1. Hi, Debbie, please let me know when you aquire insight as to where or who may be contacted in order to obtain a growing permit as I would also like to help with supply of medical cannabis.

        1. Any word on this yet,?

        2. Where can I get more info in obtaining a growing permit.

    2. Hi weet jy dalk hoe werk dit as mens wil medical cannabis kry vir depressie/ocd? Wil graag vir jou iets epos

  2. Im glad we are at least somewhat moving away from viewing cannabis as: “dirty street drugs” towards: ” medicine” HOWEVER I see some serious issues with this whole approach:

    1. Schedule 6 is reserved for dangerous medication with a high potential for abuse and addiction such as: Morphine, Methylphenidate, Hydrocodone etc… Cannabis obviously does not fit this criteria….So this whole approach is fundamentally flawed to begin with. Cannabis is physically safe and less addictive than coffee. The potential for abuse is low when using DSM-5 Criteria.

    2. This classification seems to suggest that you need to be chronically or terminally sick. What about people who choose to use cannabis for occasional problems such as infrequent migraines or IBS flareups?

    3. Who is going to profit? The Cannabis industry supplies thousands upon thousands of the poorest people with an income in South Africa. The old, the sick and the disabled are just some of those dependent on growing cannabis in order to survive. What will happen to these individuals once “High quality medicine” is being grown in pharmaceutical greenhouses? How will contracts be given and will the application to become a grower be transparent and fair?

    4. This approach sends the message that cannabis should be seen in the same way as morphine, pentazocine, phenobarbital etc. Doctors are very hesitant to prescribe S6 medicines and for very good reason, however Cannabis does not carry the same risk as these S6 substances and does not require the same conservative approach.

    I am elated that the terminally ill and the disabled might soon have safe access to their medicine, but do we need to be dying to use this plant?

    It unfortunately seems like they are simply moving the profits from one dodgy bunch(street dealers) to another potentially even dodgier bunch(Big Pharma)….This is herbal medicine, control it like you control lavender tea or clove oil!

    This scheduling will in a sense give the state even more control over the plant. They realize they are loosing control and want to ensure they get a firm grip on it before it happens.

    1. How can the MCC just reschedule anything with a scientific review? And should that review not include removing cannabis from the scheduling completely?

    2. Brilliant writing.Spot on

    3. Hi Jurgen weet jy dalk hoe werk dit as mens wil medical cannabis kry vir depressie/ocd? Wil graag vir jou iets epos

      1. Sure maar ek gaan nie my email op n public page sit nie……

    4. Right on Jurgen. I totally agree with you.

      Cannabis was put on this Earth by God for a reason and the reason is this: The endo-cannabinoid system in humans and animals is specifically designed to accept cannibinoids (over 140 of them) via the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body cells. The endo-cannabinoid system is the main regulatory system in the body. It regulates the immune system and also many others.

      Cannabis works holistically ie. ALL of the cannibinoids work together to maintain health and to effect a cure. Big Pharma has already synthesized cannabidiol (Marinol) and guess what? It does’nt work!

      I grow my own cannabis and make my own medicine in accordance with Genesis 1:29, so f*** the government. We all need to support those brave people (like “The Dagga Couple”) who are doing
      a tremendous work (on our behalf) to get cannabis totally de-criminalised.

  3. This is not legalization, is a sellout to Mr. Pharma. We knew it was gonna happen. Now, your charge sheet will read “Possession without a permit”
    Legal my arse, small guys getting shafted again, so we will continue our reign of civil disobedience towards Dagga legislation, we will continue to bend them over in the law courts.
    Nothing legal happening here.

    1. Totally agree Bobby….they can forget the criminilisation… demonisation and walk away and we will forgive and move on….. and not countersue for all the wrongs of the past 100 years and more…. on this issue alone…..

    2. Hi Bobby, I have been diagnosed with MS , can these products help

      1. Yes it does

    3. this is correct.the government and its cronies have been playing for time as they own the cannabis and drug market and negotiating to get best deal out of pharma

    4. Exactly. Fuck the government. Fuck Big Pharma. There’s no victim and you are not a criminal. Descheduled like alcohol.

  4. For a report which had 20k+ shares I really expected to see more feedback and public participation here. 2017 is going to be an interesting year indeed.

    1. Hi everyone
      I am an accident/ brain damaged person which has developed old, head aches,pains, insomnia, mood swings, erratic thoughts and 1minute up then the next down and all around. I have been already taking this oil and it is helping me to a large degree and I’ve even got it for my gran, aunty, friends and it is working wonders in their lives.
      I want to get into this thing and make a difference in Peoples Lives and let people experience the relief that I get through using this oil.
      It is a breakthrough and government has been keeping it illegal because they would lose out millions from the pharmaceutical industry but f*** the government making money… I want to make a difference in Peoples Lives. If I can help someone that’s been living with cancer for a few years or someone with gout or someone living daily with pains and discomforts and if I can get them the oil and it changes their Lives. That’s awesome for me and there’s no law that can tell me what in doing is wrong. I am not doing it recreationally but just for the healing properties this wonder plant possesses. This can be a revolutionary step in the right direction. Imagine how many people would be happier and doing stuff they couldn’t do for years because of the pain and a little while after using the oil they are much better and do not suffer as much with pains and I feel that it’s a Blessing to be the reason for an elderly person that’s been suffering for years and now they can cope with the pain and interact with their families and Live normal Lives and be happier and smile and Laugh and do what it is that GOD put us on this earth for. To Live and enjoy Life and not just endure it.

      1. well thats wonderfull, so wonder full that i just began to wonder how true it is

  5. Who would know how to go about getting a growing license. I have 4 hectares of land waiting to be cultivated

    1. If u ready for cultivation proceed brother and don’t worry about the license just yet. It will happen in time and the country could benefit with your cultivation and 4hectares of land to make a difference in this country.

  6. What Constitutional rights are being violated by the use of Cannabis and or it’s derivatives viz: cannabis oil
    IF our Constitutional rights and that of the individual are violated by any law and are deemed to be illegal.
    This should be challenged in the Constitutional Court.
    What say you ???

  7. Hi Bobby, I am a paraplegic due to a car accident, I went to Beijing for a stem cell operation, I understand that cannabis oil will help the new stem cells in my body to grow. Is that true?

    1. Look up plasma/gans. Some people are doing research by
      working with carbon, some hydrogen and even cannabis plasma. We made some
      health patches and we find them very effective. We heard some people are doing
      a study on cell regeneration. It’s also in the east somewhere but they are
      extending their trails to other countries.

      1. Hi Maarten weet jy dalk hoe werk dit as mens wil medical cannabis kry vir depressie/ocd? Wil graag vir jou iets epos

    2. Hi.Whatsapp me for info about stem-cell nutrition…+27781281225

  8. Can anyone smoke marijuana now or does he need permit?

    1. Nooooo Jan, nobody can do anything yet. If you are caught in possession of marijuana you will be arrested, even now. You have to be terminally ill (cancer, AIDS, etc.) and may only use it under very special circumstances (prescribed by a specialist if all other methods of relief fail, etc.). So please don’t just openly be in possession of this substance, harmless as it may be, because it is still very much illegal to possess if you don’t also possess that special prescription by a specialised medical practitioner. The bill also has not been implemented yet, so I doubt anybody has received a prescription for medical marijuana, because SA does not have approved medical-grade marijuana in the country yet (still under discussion with Big Pharma and parliament as to how to approach the situation medically). I know it’s absolute bullshit, but it’s still illegal to have under any circumstances…

      1. Hi Dina
        weet jy dalk hoe werk dit as mens wil medical cannabis kry vir depressie/ocd? Wil graag vir jou iets epos

  9. For public use of Cannabis, I suggest we support The Dagga Couple who’s court case starts 31 July ’17. If they win, I’m sure we will be able to apply for permits. You’ll find them on Fbook.

  10. Zol has gained its rightful place…..purely medicinal mind you.

  11. I just so wish that people’s eyes would open up….I was also in the dark…but thank goodness to friends who saw that I needed help very urgently Never gave up on me…and now I am avid activist…but people in general still think its a ‘drug’ that makes a person made and causes people to go into rage….I wish people would open up their minds and see what it really can do…I mean it saved my life after 27 years of hell…and i would have succeeded in that last one…66th one…if God and my friends did not intervene….. I wish these idiots would read their Bibles…Genesis 1:29-31…..

  12. Fuck medical. It should be legal like alcohol. Cucks.

  13. can I obtain a permit currently ? and how ?

  14. We need to go Mandela on these jokes. Give them the rope to hang themselves. Once Medical weed policies are in place and it’s no longer likely or possible for a rollback, we, the little guys should just go ape and toi toi the shit out of it. Do it like in the days of the struggle…hit the road and light up!!! they can’t imprison everyone. If all the smokers just say fuck it!! and smoke their dope, they wouldn’t possibly be able to imprison everyone.

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