The South African government is under a lot of pressure at the moment. As a country we have plenty going on and our economy is in a dire position. It’s no secret that we need all the help we can get and, truth be told, a solution has been growing under our noses for hundreds of years.
Many more South Africans suddenly became involved in the black market recently because of the lockdown prohibition of alcohol and cigarettes. This bizarre prohibition has turned many South Africans into “ordinary criminals” who have resorted to the “black market” sale of these products. The impact of this has been well publicised on social media, and we have all now seen firsthand how prohibition can increase prices, turn normal people into criminals and stifle the economy. Yet, this is nothing new in South Africa.
Cannabis, its use, cultivation and trade have been prohibited in South Africa for close to 100 years. The Cannabis market has remained largely illegal under the pretence of ‘protecting law-abiding South Africans from themselves’. Very much like the current prohibition of cigarettes and the limited sales of alcohol.
But ask anyone who uses Cannabis for any reason, and they will be the first to tell you that the Cannabis market in South Africa has never been bigger. Still operating from the underground, for the most part, there is no denying that there is a high demand for Cannabis and Cannabis-derived products.
Cannabis can help South Africa
Currently, there are many questions around incarceration, how people get treated and why punitive measures are so harsh. We’ve also seen how much of an impact asking these questions on social media can have (en masse), by pushing for reform by making everyone on social media aware of the problems we are currently facing.
When there are supply and demand for a product that is simple enough to produce that every South African can do it in their own garden, there is money to be made in communities. Regulated Cannabis will legitimize many existing small businesses and create thousands of new jobs.
Cannabis can help South Africa, and Fields of Green for ALL has known this for many years. Now that South Africans have seen the impact of prohibition real-time during our lockdown, we can stand together to get our president and government to understand that Cannabis is not the enemy of the State. Neither are the people who grow it, trade in it or use it.
Make the issue public
Fields of Green for ALL will be delivering a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa along with our publication: Cannabis in South Africa: The People’s Plant. A Full Spectrum Manifesto for Policy Reform. If this plant is to help South African people and our economy, the Cannabis Can Help SA campaign needs support from ALL media platforms. The campaign has been running since June 1st. Fields of Green for ALL’s letter to the President will be accompanied by our a petition with close to 35 000 signatures. This is an official parliamentary petition as each signature is attached to a verifiable ID number.
Fields of Green for ALL has also created a ‘Street Team Pack’ so that South Africans, whether they are part of the Cannabis community or not, can help spread the message on their social media, as Cannabis organisations like Fields of Green for ALL are shadow-banned from these platforms, for the most part. You can easily download the ‘Street Team Pack’ from the Fields of Green for ALL website. While you are there, have a look around our website as there is loads of very useful and newsworthy content for those in the media frontlines to share. Everybody love a Dagga story!
“South Africans who want to help bring attention to the campaign can easily share the images contained in the pack on their own social media profiles. The more South Africans talk about regulated Cannabis for ALL South Africans, the more likely the government will act in the interests of ALL citizens, not only those who have the resources to get ahead.” Says Myrtle Clarke, MD of Fields of Green For ALL.