Dagga comes from the Hemp plant. The name is South African slang for the drug. Other names of the drug include grass, zol drug, weed, pot, ganja etc. The burning question ringing in all South African minds, ‘Is dagga legal in South Africa 2018?'
Is weed legal in South Africa 2018?
In December 2016, Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton and Rastafarian Garreth Prince argued for the decriminalization of the herb. They show that the Criminal Prohibition of Dagga Act unconstitutional. Their end game is to make weed legal in SA.
In 2017, The Western Cape High Court ruled for the legalization of dagga in South Africa. The argument was that it is an infringement to ban the use of marijuana at home by adults. The state appealed this ruling. This led to the confusion of many South Africans as well as the police force. They did not know the government's stand on marijuana.
In the 18th of September 2018, the Constitutional Court legalized the private use of marijuana. The deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo gave the ruling that the private use of the zol drug is not a criminal offence. The ruling left the most of South African public very elated and ecstatic.
This is as reported by News24.
What does all this mean in a nutshell?
All you want to know is whether weed is legal in South Africa or not? Is it possible to smoke it without any consequences? The Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo made it clear in his ruling about the stand of the country on the drug.
Where can I use the drug?
The drug is for private use only. Anyone found selling, distributing or using the drug in public is eligible for prosecution. You can only use the drug in the confine of your home.
Where can I get the drug if the sale of the drug is illegal?
Adults can grow and cultivate the plant in their own property. Having the drug in your land is legal.
Despite him answering all the obvious questions, there are still many more ringing in everyone’s minds. These include whether the quantities per person are limited or when you can use the drug among many others. These and the entire nitty gritty are yet to be determined by the government on a later date.
The government has a total of 24 months, which is 2 years to pass this bill into law.
Disclaimer: The private use of marijuana does not start on the 18th of September. It will start when the bill is passed into law. In addition, the ANC will decide the amount per person, whether it is strictly for personal use and all aspects of the bill.
Now that we are aware of whether weed is legal in South Africa, let us look at the basic knowledge about marijuana.
In society, most people use weed because of the high it gives them. This is the first and most common effect of weed. The feeling of relaxation that comes from either smoking or consuming it. The drug slows down communication between the body and the brain bringing that sense of euphoria.
Short-term effects of weed
The use of weed has both positive and negative effects. These last about 2 to 3 hours and they fade away. The level of intensity depends on the strain of the herb, the amount used and the surrounding atmosphere.
The pros include:
- Feeling of enlightenment
- Supreme relaxation of the body
- The alteration of the senses
- Hallucinations. (Some people like this one and others do not)
The cons include:
- The Munchies. This is the feeling of intense hunger that comes after smoking weed
Long-term effects of weed
The drug also has some long-term side effects. Avid smokers of weed will debate that the drug is completely pure and lacks long-term side effects but studies show that it does. Such studies include those done by Jama Internal Medicine and Molecular Psychiatry. They include:
- Respiratory diseases
- Increased mental disorders. I.e. schizophrenia
- Deteriorating memory and learning problems
- Impaired hormone production
- Lethargy. This is the lack of enthusiasm and energy of a person
- Distorted perception of things
It is important to note that all drugs do have long-term side effects. Thus, the use of the drug sparingly will keep you out of risk from these effects.
Addiction to dagga is very possible. The addiction causes the psychological and physical dependence on the drug. Research shows that ardent smokers barely function without using the drug.
The mental retardation caused by the drug leads to this dependence on it.
Health benefits associated with weed
Smoking dagga has some health benefits. The information here is obtained from medical news today and it suggests that the use of marijuana may:
- Relieve some types of chronic pain.
- Help in controlling epileptic seizures.
- Help in the fight of alcohol and drug addiction.
- Protect the brain from strokes by increasing cerebral flow.
- Increase coital frequency thus referred to being a miracle bedroom drug.
- Relieves Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Using weed has its benefits but also its setbacks. When an avid user tries to stop, they can experience one or all of these symptoms listed below:
Insomnia. This leads to hypersomnia
- Irritability, anger and aggression
- Weight loss due to decreased appetite
It is possible to manage the withdrawal symptoms by using the methods listed below.
- Medication. Few drugs are in the market to deal with withdrawal symptoms. However, the use of antidepressants can treat the severe mental problems associated with the abuse of marijuana.
- Motivational enhancement therapy. This a type of therapy that targets the motivation of the patient to quit. It is advisable for patients who keep relapsing.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The therapist teaches the patient positive coping skills and various self-talk strategies. This helps them see the light at the end of the tunnel and tackle the addiction head-on.
- Contingency management. Here there is the use of an incentive, which acts as a reward for the patient if they keep their word and stick to not using.
- Psychotherapy. There are some psychotherapy procedures, which help to deal with withdrawal symptoms.
- Social Support. Surrounding yourself with positive people who encourage you on your progress goes a very long way in keeping you on the right track.
We see that dagga is legal in South Africa and you can use it freely very soon in about two years. Note, however, that excessive use can be detrimental to your health. Thus, it is important to use it with caution.