International November 17, 2016

What Trump’s Win Means For Legal Cannabis In South Africa

In what seemed to be something straight out of a Douglas Adams and Idiocracy mashup, a self made reality TV star gave genuine reality the finger and found himself elected to sit upon the Free World Throne. While every sphere was enthralled with his victory, a few critical battles were being fought and won in the USA’s cannabis frontiers.

One can only wonder if there was a genuine appetite to see Trump take the reins from the Democrats or if people were just so tired of the almost incestuous nature of the presidency being generationally kept in the family. Debate the future of the USA as you wish, the one thing that everyone seems to be agreeing on is that it’s gonna be an entertaining time. What seems a lot more uncertain is what this all means for the majority of States that allow for medicinal marijuana and the nearly dozen that have legalized recreational use.

Drug law reform seekers are already flipping out over Trump’s A-Team of ultra conservative pale faces being the demise of all policy progress made to date. But that’s Amurrrka’s Vegas shot gun marriage baby to deal with. Back here in sunny and floody SA things are looking a bit brighter for the prospects of medicinal cannabis being on the cards for government.

The IFP reckons that they want medicinal use legalised by Xmas. According to the party’s Narend Singh “We don’t need to do research anymore. Enough research has been done,” said Singh. “However, if it was absolutely necessary, the Medical Research Council could do its own research.”
“A number of people use cannabis illegally, but found relief. Why must we be married to chemotherapy and things like that?”

Dr David Bayever of the Central Drug authority recently touched on the bigger need for local drug policy reform; “We have a problem with the number of people being arrested, even for very small amounts of drugs. It’s because they are then put into jail if convicted, where they learn new abilities to make more money on the street by learning new tricks of the trade from other people rather than being rehabilitated.”
Maybe the Doc is onto something though, if the only place to get some sort of free higher education in the country is in the clink.

When political parties and the once notoriously prohibitionist Central Drug Authority change their stance on the issue and openly call for cannabis law reform, it’s hard not to stay positive. It’s certain that the discourse around legal cannabis in South Africa is changing, but how fast this change will turn in to legally tangible medical cannabis products is unclear.

The U.S. is undeniably the most influential nation on earth when it comes to international drug policy. With four more states, including California, voting to legalise recreational cannabis use right before election day, it’s clear that the U.S. has passed its marijuana tipping point. The hot spot for the short term looks like it’s going to be whether they have the means to push back if Trump’s crew decide to take an axe to the growing cannabis industry.

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  • Merlin the G

    This is what I visioned.
    SA lost its financial independence and rely on the US.
    Trump a captilist can’t ignore marijuana legislation. Or removing SA funding, by suggestion it make changes to recoupe its deficit through legislation. Though responsible use. I.e Use it don’t abuse it, will work. I.e stop thinking Amsterdam is a place e you can get wasted and its its all good. Respect it , period.

  • tgif1

    It’s a billion $ tax revenue. Good business #makesagreatagain

  • This could be the best thing for SA but I do not think Trump cares too much about cannabis. It seams he is more buddy buddy with the big pharma and I doubt he will decriminalize it federally without a big fight.