South Africa: Sweet Mary Jane - the Plant That Flummoxed and Fascinated Lawmakers


While the world's economic powerhouses are fuelling a hemp revolution comparable to the tech boom, South Africa's partial dagga decriminalisation has citizens wrestling with their consciences on a moral dilemma forged by a lie.

It had to be South Africa's Constitutional Court loosening the bonds on dagga prohibition. Our parliamentarians from across the political spectrum don't have the balls.

I have smoked dagga for the past four decades, sometimes daily, at other times periodically and once abstained for seven years. It is not an addictive substance. Smoking 45kg of dagga in 15 minutes is thought to induce a fatal response - a possible explanation why no overdose has been attributed to dagga in the past few thousand years of its psychotropic partnership with humans.

I was a few hours old when my mother first introduced endocannabinoids, and near-identical to the cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, into my system. I don't recall a soporific high. Her decision was, however, actively endorsed by the UN children's agency Unicef. Without breast milk's natural abundance of endocannabinoids latching on to the brain's specifically-designed cannabinoid receptors, I may have suffered from the "non-organic ability to thrive". After all, breast is best.

I have smoked...

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