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1 South Africa: OPED: Legalising CannabisTue, 09 Aug 2016
Source:Mercury, The (South Africa)          Area:South Africa Lines:45 Added:08/09/2016

COLORADO'S now years-long experiment with legal medical and recreational cannabis markets has been mostly positive and fascinating, and yet the federal government has been slow to rethink its decades-long prohibitionist position.

We hope the Obama administration takes advantage of its historic opportunity to end or take steps towards dismantling the destructive war on pot. What an irony it would be if Obama, who has openly admitted to pot use in his early years, and who has shown great tolerance towards local legalisation laws, left office without having moved the nation away from the antiquated reefer-madness enforcement of past presidencies.

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2 South Africa: PUB LTE: Alternatives NeededMon, 25 Jul 2016
Source:Cape Times (South Africa) Author:Pain, Stephen Area:South Africa Lines:53 Added:07/25/2016

THE page-four report "Strategy on drugs slammed" (Cape Times, July 21) rightly draws attention to the negative consequences of drug prohibition on society in general and on public health in particular.

But the "experts" who make a living trying to cure these ills must find a far more nuanced approach if real progress is to be made.

The opening premise that "drug users... could benefit from a variety of support structures instead of strict punitive measures" fails to recognise the fact that many - probably most - "drug users" would, like most drinkers, simply like to be left alone to use their drug of choice, without interference from puritanical, interfering busybodies in the employ of a "Nanny State".

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3 South Africa: Forbidden Drug Is A 'Miracle'Sat, 16 Jul 2016
Source:Star, The (South Africa) Author:Bega, Sheree Area:South Africa Lines:169 Added:07/16/2016

Severely Ill Patients Vouch for Medicinal Benefits of Dagga Oil

AS A mother, Veronica Ellis would do anything to help her eight-year-old child, even if it meant the unthinkable: giving her a small daily dose of a forbidden drug. But she could no longer watch her once-radiant daughter, now a hollow skeleton, slipping away.

"What convinced me was looking at Bayleigh, lying all day on a mattress here in front of the TV," says Ellis, a small-framed, resolute mother of three. "She was so tired, she just didn't want to get up. Her face was white, she had black rings under her eyes. She wouldn't eat anything. She lost 1kg in a week."

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4 South Africa: Court Order Stay On Dagga TrialFri, 15 Jul 2016
Source:Citizen, The (South Africa) Author:Lange, Ilse de Area:South Africa Lines:66 Added:07/16/2016

An ill Boksburg man has obtained a court order to stay his criminal trial for possessing, manufacturing and dealing in dagga pending the outcome of a constitutional challenge aimed at legalising the substance in South Africa.

Judge Ronel Tolmay granted an order in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to stay the criminal trial of Clifford Thorp, 58, pending the final outcome of his legal battle to legalise the medicinal use of dagga.

The court in November last year granted Thorp permission to join the application of Julian Stobbs and his partner Myrtle Clarke, also known as the "Dagga couple", in their legal challenge to the constitutionality of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act which outlaws the possession of and dealing in dagga.

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5 South Africa: Cannabis Story Is Slowly Turning Full CircleThu, 14 Jul 2016
Source:Witness, The (South Africa) Author:Viljoen, Alwyn Area:South Africa Lines:124 Added:07/14/2016

WHILE the latest research on cannabis confirms anecdotes that weed slows and even removes Alzheimer's, the dagga couple of SA still have a long fight to change the illegal status of the drug in South Africa.

On their non-profit organisation website, Fields of Green for All, the infamous dagga couple, Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, said their case will finally come to court on July 31, 2017. And after all their effort to get there, the Pretoria high court will have to escalate the questions raised on the constitutionality of being arrested for possessing dagga to the Constitutional Court. The couple have also sued seven South African government departments on charges of enacting unlawful laws.

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6 South Africa: PA Declares War On DrugsWed, 13 Jul 2016
Source:Citizen, The (South Africa)          Area:South Africa Lines:60 Added:07/14/2016

Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie, pictured, has announced a plan he says is supported by his political party to rid gang-afflicted communities of drug dealers.

On his Facebook account, he yesterday asked members of these communities to inbox him the addresses of drug houses and "lolly lounges" in their areas, because the PA needed to verify that they were, indeed, selling drugs.

He wrote: "We shall send kids to buy drugs in order to be a hundred percent sure that your accusation is accurate. We shall verify every house before we strike.

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7 South Africa: Does 15% of Sa's Population Have a Drug Problem?Mon, 11 Jul 2016
Source:Witness, The (South Africa) Author:Bhardwaj, Vinayak Area:South Africa Lines:177 Added:07/11/2016

Africa Check investigates the source of this statistic and others related to drug use in South Africa

TOM ROBBINS, AMERICAN AUTHOR (1932-). Any half-awake materialist well knows - that which you hold holds you. "Drug use is really a symptom, not a primary cause of many of South Africa's issues, but it is a politically expedient target for people to focus on, instead of addressing the real imbalances and inequalities in our society."

THE apparent drug-related murder of a respected media personality, Hope Zinde, has reignited a countrywide discussion about drug abuse in South Africa. Her son has been formally charged with her murder and possession of drugs. Media reports have linked his actions to a drug addiction that he is said to be suffering with.

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8 South Africa: Dagga Steps Out Of The Shadows To Fuel DebateSat, 09 Jul 2016
Source:Dispatch (South Africa) Author:MacGregor, David Area:South Africa Lines:158 Added:07/11/2016

After 40 Years Dope Goes Mainstream at Festival

AFTER more than 40 years on the fringe of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, dagga finally stepped out of the shadows and into the mainstream.

Usually whispered about in hushed tones and smoked in dark corners, pot took centre stage as red-eyed stoners, blue rinse pensioners and academics scrambled to find out more about weed at talks on decriminalisation and the medicinal benefits of the plant.

Even South Africa's high profile "Dagga Couple", Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, made the long haul to festival city where they smoked high quality cannabis oil from an odourless vapouriser at a busy High Street coffee shop.

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9 South Africa: Column: Puff And Pass Law To Legalise HerbFri, 08 Jul 2016
Source:Sowetan (South Africa) Author:Khumalo, Fred Area:South Africa Lines:111 Added:07/08/2016

BILL Clinton memorably took a puff, but did not inhale. A few years later, his fellow Democrat Barack Hussein Obama admitted that in his youth not only did he take a puff from a dagga roll, but he also inhaled.

"I inhaled frequently. That was the point," he said.

Mind you, these were public admissions, therefore suggesting that these personalities had done something wrong by smoking dagga.

However, because these admissions came from these personalities, they sounded rather cool.

Society in general frowns upon weed, and arbiters of moral standards especially in this country will tell you that dagga smokers are failures who are destined for two places: jail or an early grave.

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10 South Africa: R61.3m For Drug CampaignFri, 01 Jul 2016
Source:New Age, The (South Africa) Author:Nyaka, France Area:South Africa Lines:60 Added:07/01/2016

MEC Nomsa Mtsweni Joins March Against Substance Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

YOUNG people throughout the province have been urged to distance themselves from drugs as well as other illicit practices and become focused on education to achieve a better future.

The appeal was made by social development MEC Nomsa Mtsweni when she led the provincial government's participation in the international Day against Substance Abuse in Kwaggafontein this week.

The significance of the event was also to promote activities performed by local anti-drug action committees.

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11 South Africa: Stop War On Drugs, Increase SupportTue, 28 Jun 2016
Source:Cape Argus (South Africa) Author:Cole, Barbara Area:South Africa Lines:92 Added:06/28/2016

Project Seeks to Break the Cycle of Trauma With New Solutions

FIFTY drug addicts are to take part in pioneering substitution therapy trials, using methadone in a bid to wean them off whoonga/heroin. The ground-breaking demonstration project is scheduled to start in October and will last 18 months. It will evaluate improvements to drug addicts' quality of life under treatment, as well as looking at the cost-effectiveness of using opioid substitution therapy in the state health system .

The provincial and national Departments of Health and the Department of Social Development will be watching the outcome, said Professor Monique Marks, head of the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology.

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12 South Africa: 'Drug Abuse Is Growing In SA'Mon, 27 Jun 2016
Source:Citizen, The (South Africa) Author:Williams, Denise Area:South Africa Lines:62 Added:06/28/2016

Cape Town - The abuse of illegal and over-the-counter drugs was seemingly growing and needed to be dealt with urgently, said the chairperson of the SA Medical Association, Mzukisi Grootboom.

He added that South Africa continued to be the regional hub for drug trafficking in and out of the country.

"Drug dependency, in all its forms, is a massive problem that creates serious health, social, legal, and economic problems for the country. We need to stand together to deal with this and say enough is enough."

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13 South Africa: Pilot Plan For AddictsMon, 27 Jun 2016
Source:Daily News, The (South Africa) Author:Cole, Barbara Area:South Africa Lines:68 Added:06/27/2016

FIFTY Durban drug addicts are to take part in pioneering substitution therapy trials, using methadone in a bid to wean them off whoonga/heroin.

The groundbreaking demonstration project is scheduled to start in October and will last 18 months. It will evaluate improvements to the quality of life of drug addicts under treatment, as well as looking at the cost-effectiveness of using opioid substitution therapy in the state health system .

The provincial and national Departments of Health and the Department of Social Development would be watching the outcome, said Professor Monique Marks, head of the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology.

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14 South Africa: OPED: Drug Data Is Sorely LackingMon, 27 Jun 2016
Source:Daily News, The (South Africa) Author:Bhardwaj, Vinayak Area:South Africa Lines:172 Added:06/27/2016

In a newsletter that reaches 700 000 medical aid members, a health insurance company presented "shocking South African drug statistics". But Africa Check researcher Vinayak Bhardwaj, says these aren't strictly factual

THE APPARENT drug-related murder of a respected media personality, Hope Zinde, has reignited a countrywide discussion about drug abuse in South Africa.

Her son has been formally charged with her murder and possession of drugs. Media reports have linked his actions to a drug addiction he is said to be suffering.

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15 South Africa: Questions Over SA War On DrugsFri, 17 Jun 2016
Source:Herald, The (South Africa) Author:Smillie, Shaun Area:South Africa Lines:54 Added:06/17/2016

SARS has been hitting the "narcos" hard of late, with a number of large drug seizures, but no one seems to know its actual effect on South Africa's war on drugs.

Since the beginning of the year the men, women and dogs of SARS have netted millions of rands worth of drugs at several ports of entry.

At the beginning of the month, SARS officials seized drugs worth R9-million in two incidents.

At the Lebombo border, officials seized 51 bags of ephedrine and 14 bags of crystal meth from hidden compartments in a car. The drugs were believed to be worth R7-million.

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16 South Africa: Column: The War On Drugs Has Clearly FailedMon, 13 Jun 2016
Source:New Age, The (South Africa) Author:Lotz, Chelsea Area:South Africa Lines:106 Added:06/14/2016

Decriminalising Drugs Is Straightforward; People Are Empowered With Choice

ONE of the key traits of humanity is the ability to implement laws and change them as new evidence, facts and data become available, thus creating greater awareness.

Such is the evolution of society, to build and refine knowledge due to new findings and information. In 1971, the Misuse of Drugs Act was implemented in the UK, causing a wave of punitive legislation throughout the world. Suddenly, the recreational drug culture of the 1960s had come to an end, bringing with it a darker era of obscured drug use run by crime syndicates holding a monopoly over the masses.

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17 South Africa: PUB LTE: Strange RealityFri, 10 Jun 2016
Source:Cape Times (South Africa) Author:Pain, Stephen Area:South Africa Lines:28 Added:06/11/2016

WHEN Dr Richard Oxtoby says that there are "no rational grounds" for making cannabis ("dagga") illegal, he hits the nail squarely on the head.

I am charged with the crime of cultivation and possession of cannabis, so I recently approached the National Prosecuting Authority to discuss the possibility of a plea bargain based on restorative justice.

Could I perhaps meet with, apologise to and somehow compensate the victims of my crime in return for a reduced sentence? Of course not, there are no victims; so as a simple stoner, I am denied an opportunity available to robbers and rapists. No rational grounds indeed.

Stephen Pain

Friends of the Earth, Riversdale

[end]

18 South Africa: LTE: Drug Stance Ill-Conceived As ProblemFri, 10 Jun 2016
Source:Cape Times (South Africa) Author:Mare, Piet Area:South Africa Lines:119 Added:06/10/2016

Dear Editor and Quinton

The article which appeared in Wednesday's newspaper: "Legalise it, says General Vearey" needs further attention.

It is very much one-sided, and speaks of a very narrow mind on this topic. The only thing said of any meaning was a bigger focus on prevention. Yet, this needs much, much more emphasis. As a matter of fact, it needs massive national emphasis. An article in this week's Eike Stad newspaper, the local weekly publication in Stellenbosch, should also be read. Drugs are often the result of crime, and not the other way round.

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19 South Africa: LTE: Drugs A Global IssueFri, 10 Jun 2016
Source:Cape Times (South Africa) Author:Sandler, Barbie Area:South Africa Lines:51 Added:06/10/2016

I NOTE, (Cape Times, June 8) that General Vearey has called for a review of South Africa's war on drugs.

There is no doubt these thugs and gangs are a law unto themselves and the police are simply not coping.

How many more killings of innocent people, especially children caught in the crossfire, can the Government allow to continue?

Helen Zille, a while back, and Patricia de Lille asked for the army to be brought into the Manenberg area. We use our army all over Africa to help countries on a war footing, but we have a war in our own backyard.

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20 South Africa: OPED: The Argument To Decriminalise CannabisWed, 08 Jun 2016
Source:Daily News, The (South Africa) Author:Clarke, Myrtle Area:South Africa Lines:165 Added:06/08/2016

Stop Arresting South Africans for Low-Level Use, Write Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs

THE cracks in the policies that prohibit the use, cultivation and trade in cannabis in South Africa are beginning to show.

Fields of Green for ALL representatives attended the recent UN Special Session on Drugs in New York as civil society delegates. Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, and Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, were there in their official capacity.

But South Africa's comments on the outcome document were as bland as the majority of other countries, and a report that described the whole special session as a "damp squib" was quite accurate.

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