This week I am ranting over dagga. Make no mistake about it I don't smoke that green stuff. Yes, sometimes I have wondered how it feels to smoke it but I will never smoke it. I mean, never.
Firstly, because it is illegal to do so. Secondly, because I am scared of heights. Thirdly, because I am scared I might just like it and get hooked. Fourthly because they have crazy philosophies. More of that later. True, I have defended a couple of guys accused of being found in possession of dagga but I had no personal interest. Normally, these guys don’t have any money anyway, they are high and broke as hell and unless they have a brother and a sister to bail them out, they end up getting whipped or imprisoned. Just peaceful people content in reflective solitude. And I do not say that they never fight. But true, most are peaceful people. The moneyed ones don’t ever come to me because they never get caught. Their homesteads are protected by high rise walls and an acute awareness on the part of law enforcement officers that breach of the walls may lead to devastating claims for breach of privacy and damages. They have such beautiful dogs Boots would simply smile, mate and leave.
Just so we are clear, I am not an advocate for the use of dagga or any drug for that matter. I don’t like habit forming drugs any more than I like quadbikes. But I have learnt one thing. I should not wish persecution on people just because I differ with them. I do not see why my homeboys in Mahalapye – and there are many- who use dagga purely for recreational reasons should be sent to prison at all. It is just cruel, needless and unfair and I mean it seriously.
Who is going to dig our graves; the useless Capello lot who rock up with slay queens on Saturdays? I would rather they don’t get high at all, but that is really no excuse for me to seek their persecution. In fact these characters are more useful than their moneyed city brothers and sisters who put their chemicals on women’s drinks and then rape them. They are much more acceptable to me that the city folk who fry school children with substances from South African backyard factories.
I am not about to get into the debate between dagga and alcohol. Alcohol lost that debate a long time ago and it lost with a huge margin. There is no good reason why alcohol is legal and dagga is not. Frankly I have never been pissed off by anyone under the influence of weed.
Yes, the guys act weird. They can be so quiet you would think they are
Never. One of them told me, not so long ago, that I have no understanding of the Bible. I mean, I grew up on that book and believe in it cover to cover. This character says that “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in the garden of Eden, was marijuana and that the biblical coinage I daily use in my prayers – “the most high”- means the same state they delight in. They simply get high, because their God is the “the most high”. These are some of the guys targeted with three years and 10 years imprisonment legislation. It’s a case of misplaced anger. I cannot agree. I would march against the sentences anyday.
We need to adopt a more constructive approach to the dagga issue. I am not saying that it should be open season. Far from that. I do not even say that the eSwatini polygamists must dump all their harvest here. Far from it. I simply say that no citizen should go to prison for the recreational use of marijuana.
There is simply no justification for that. No man should have their lives and career destroyed by incarceration just because they got high. Sometimes, in or genuine attempts to address a perceived problem, we end up causing more harm than good with knee jerk interventions.
Please separate this matter from that of the hard drugs from our southerly neighbours. Those are human killers that literally fry people’s brains and turn them into cabbages. I have never seen anyone reduced to a cabbage by dagga.
Yes, these guys are usually malnourished but it is usually because they spend time meditating on crazy philosophies and hardly give themselves time to cook and to eat. And who really cares that they are malnourished. The alcohol guys indecently assault our senses with tummies that look like they are melting and I never heard anyone complaining.
There is a need to benchmark with other progressive nations on ways of addressing the dagga problem. We are just being cruel to fellow human beings on the pretext of enforcing law and order. Besides, there are other matters that deserve more urgent legislative attention. They include hard drugs, plastic pollution, unprotected sex, access to information, education, the economy and the allegation that there is a viper in the house.