Remember the infamous “dagga debate” between myself and Mamazane Maphanga, which turned out to be the most viewed clip on SABC Newsroom, ever? Well, Miss Maphanga is back, and this time she debated Jeremy Acton of the Dagga Party. Here are the original videos for some context on who this article will be dealing with, just in case you missed it.
The small remote group known as the Concerned Young People of South Africa (CYPSA) are no strangers to going viral for all the wrong reasons. While not only continuing their much criticized campaign against any form of cannabis legalisation, even for medicinal purposes, they’ve also decided that tobacco partakers are now equally criminal and deserving of a spot in a cold overcrowded prison cell.
During a Jacaranda FM radio breakfast show debate against Jeremy Acton of the Dagga Party, Mamazane Maphanga reminded us why her organisation so firmly opposes the increasing calls for any form of cannabis legalisation. Taking swipes at medicinal cannabis as well as the legal tobacco market were highlights of Mamazane’s again high volumed assault. “It is a small group of people who want to smoke dagga without getting into trouble with the law who are pushing this. It is by no means the desire of the the majority of South African citizens; parents, doctors, teachers who work with children know well the harm this drug causes. And there is no such thing as medical dagga (cannabis)!”
What followed was much the same as we have come to expect from this passionate young lady, “I work with people who have been effected by the using of dagga. They’ve had to drop out from schools because they are mentally disturbed, they’ve quit their jobs, they’ve lost their opportunities at their universities.”
“Whether we like it or not dagga is addictive. You get dependent on it, you get unwanted uncomfortable cravings if you can’t get hold of it. It is therefore a drug. Some might say, what about cigarettes then? For me they should be made illegal.”
Mamazane declaring herself as not only the representative for her tiny following, but now also for the majority of South Africans is perhaps the most worrying thing about her hell bent attitude towards cannabis, tobacco and alcohol. So while remaining completely impervious to offering any more substance to the dagga debate due to the limitations of sticking to her “Just say no to drugs” starter kit, 15 000 South Africans gathered in Cape Town this weekend to peacefully march in solidarity for the legalisation of Cannabis, showing that the movement is by no means a faceless or small group of fellow citizens that she and others like her can just keep hating on.
Now if only Mamazane could pull herself away from watching all those anti-drug VHS tapes for just a minute or two, she would see that she in no way reflects the views of anything more than an eroding group of fringe fundamentalists. If the young people of South Africa should really be concerned about anything, it should be about quack groups such as the CYPSA.