Pubdate: Fri, 23 May 2014
Source: Sowetan (South Africa)
Copyright: 2014 Sowetan
Author: Nomaswazi Nkosi
Page: 8


MAYBE the man who was busted with R1-million worth of dagga wanted to 
use it for medical reasons.

The 48-year-old from Hamburg, Roodepoort, in the West Rand, 
transformed his garage into a greenhouse (a glass building where 
plants are protected from the cold) fully-equipped with lights, 
electric fans and and all other necessary objects to grow his stash.

"JMPD officers responded to a tip-off, and discovered the dagga which 
had a street value of approximately R1-million," Johannesburg 
Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Wayne Minnaar said.

The man, who will appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court soon 
for possession and dealing in drugs, was arrested on Wednesday night. 
But until his case begins in court, his real intentions are not yet known.

But medicinal use of dagga is being promoted in South Africa.

Earlier this year, Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, 
who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last year, tabled a 
medical innovation bill trying to legalise marijuana for medical purposes.

Oriani-Ambrosini made it clear that he does not smoke the drug, 
however, he said he takes it rectally as an oil and swears by the 
unconventional treatment, saying it has helped him live as long as he 
has with the terminal illness.

Economic Freedom Fighter leader Julius Malema said he would consider 
legalising marijuana if his party came into power.

However, the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 
maintains that the drug is harmful.

"It is of the utmost importance to take into consideration the fact 
that marijuana is not harmless," said the council's spokeswoman, 
Cathy Fos, in a position statement on the medical use of marijuana.

"There is no conclusive evidence that medicinal use of marijuana 
would be any more effective than the medications which are currently 
registered with the Medicines Control Council.

"Further research in this regard is necessary," she wrote.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom