South Africa: Imagine Dagga Sales Funding Education, A Review of Dagga: A Short History

True to its title, this book is a quick, accessible read, but it is also packed with interesting historical information about dagga in its local and global contexts. It is also a timeous book. The world is abuzz with dagga (excuse the puns, they seem inevitable with this topic): it’s being decriminalised and legalised all over. South Africa has a “Dagga Couple” – Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs – who are challenging the constitutionality of our laws against cannabis. Dagga, in other words, is in the air, becoming mainstream, like beer.

Crampton hopes her book will spark debates about legalisation in South Africa. To inform those debates, she points to the history of attitudes towards dagga – attitudes that change over time, from dagga being acceptable to it being a cash crop and a form of currency and, finally, to it being outlawed. These attitudes can change again. That they...

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