Dagga industry could put South Africa on a high

THE British parliamentary report in favour of legalising cannabis for medical purposes, and the decision of some states in the US to make it legal to smoke it, raises the question: why don’t we follow the Colorado example? After all, we are renowned for growing the best stuff.

It is four years since Colorado voters decided 55%-45% to legalise marijuana, allowing adults to possess, sell and cultivate limited amounts. The referendum was close and aroused passionate argument.

Those in favour argued that dagga (as we call it) was less harmful than cigarettes or hard liquor and made life comfortable for chronic illness sufferers. Those against predicted an increase in criminality, violence, sexual crimes and general laziness. Added were the dangers of driving under its influence. Some used medical arguments — paranoia being one. The Colorado police were uniformly (ahem) against.

The legislation gave no blanket permission. One could sell it,...

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