Pubdate: Tue, 24 Nov 2015
Source: Citizen, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2015 The Citizen
Author: Ilse de Lange
Page: 4


Medicinal: Claims herb reduces pain, nausea

Court bid to decriminalise use of cannabis and allow recreational

A Boksburg man has been granted leave to join a Johannesburg couple's
constitutional challenge aimed at legalising dagga in South Africa.
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria last week granted permission
to Clifford Thorp to join the legal battle of Julian Stobbs and his
partner, Myrtle Clarke, which is expected to be heard in March next

Thorp, who has numerous health problems, wants the use and possession
of dagga for medicinal purposes legalised.

Stobbs and Clarke, who are also known as the "dagga couple", are
challenging the constitutionality of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking
Act, which outlaws the possession of and dealing in dagga.

The couple, who were arrested during a 2010 police raid on their
smallholding in Lanseria, maintain their human rights were violated by
a law that was unjust, not supported by any scientific evidence and
that smoking dagga should not be seen as a crime.

Thorp, who started growing his own dagga for medicinal purposes last
year, was arrested in January. He said in court papers he had been
unable to work for the past five years because of severe pain and
debilitating nausea and vomiting caused by a spinal fusion, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease and skin cancer.

According to Thorp, dagga was extremely effective for pain relief,
significantly reduced his nausea and vomiting and gave him a much
better quality of life. He sometimes smoked it to help him sleep, but
mostly consumed it in the form of butter and cannabis oil to assist in
healing malignant growths on his skin.

Thorp said: "I believe it is a fundamental human right that all who
may benefit medicinally from the use of the plant ought to be afforded
the right to use said plant responsibly ... without fear that such
conduct could result in them being criminally prosecuted.

"Due to my medical condition, I may only have a few more years to live
and I would submit that it is my right to live out my remaining years
comfortably, with dignity and in as little pain as possible."

He also supported the couple's efforts to have responsible adult
recreational use of dagga legalised.
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