CYPSA Says NO to the Legalization of the Recreational Use of Dagga in South Africa
We as South African citizens reject moves to legalize the recreational use of dagga in South Africa on the following grounds:
• The physical evidence and personal experience of thousands of individuals who have suffered the negative psychological effects of dagga speak for themselves. Dagga can cause severe mental illness that cannot be cured. Caring for individuals who have been harmed psychologically by dagga places a financial burden on families, the health care system and South Africa itself.
• Removing legislation against dagga will do away with deterrents to first-time users and motivation for regular users to stop using the drug, as there will be no penalties to be faced. Legalization would remove a measure which restricts those who are considering cultivating and selling dagga.
• Dagga disrupts and destroys families, marriages and other relationships, eats away self-respect, damages minds, harms society and destroys human dignity.
• Legalization will not save millions spent on enforcing the laws against dagga. A similar amount, if not more, would be spent on treating those who become addicted to the drug or suffer from its harmful side-affects such as mental illness.
• Dagga fuels crime in South Africa. There are many recorded cases of violent crimes and aggressively reckless driving which were committed when offenders were under the influence of dagga.
• Dagga use causes major handicaps to the futures of those who begin using it while they are still in school. Parents, doctors and teachers, those who work with children, know first-hand the harmful effects of dagga. Our first duty is to protect our young people from becoming the next generation of dagga addicts.
• Popular opinion is that dagga is somehow safer than other drugs. Drugs are dangerous in different ways and a direct comparison is not possible. In some ways, the effect on a user’s mental health for example, dagga can be more dangerous than heroin or cocaine. Dagga is a ‘gateway’ drug that leads to hard drugs.
• Those that would legalize the drug seem to have personal or commercial interests in seeing the laws surrounding dagga vanish. Society has an inherent right to ward off crimes against itself, and does so through laws that are put in place against threats like dagga.
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Petition to: President of South Africa the Honourable Mr. Jacob Zuma