13 July 2017

South Africa: The Cannabis Chronicles - Dagga Couple Go Global

analysis

From the end of July to the middle of August, South Africa will be on the front lines of international drug policy reform. World experts are descending on the country to fight out the merits of cannabis legalisation in the first truly scientific constitutional hearing -- and the Dagga Couple, after seven years in the trenches, will finally get their day in court. Will we show the world what freedom is, or will we sell our heritage to the Canadians? By KEVIN BLOOM.

I. Looking Back

"And then it hit me," said Ethan Nadelmann, about four minutes into a 2014 TED talk that put together the pieces like a planet-sized Rubik's Cube. "Everybody in drug policy thought the answer lay in that area about which they knew the least."

It all seems obvious now that he's unpacked it for us, but here is what Nadelmann taught us that day about the international fulcrum of the multitrillion-dollar, four decade-long, "unwinnable" War on Drugs: the Latin American law enforcement agents were blaming demand in the United States, the DEA brotherhood was blaming supply in Latin America, and the customs agents on both sides were blaming supply and demand.

"That's when I started...

South Africa

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