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Cape High Court Dagga Ruling Reckless and Destructive

Source: ChristianView Network
Date Added: 2017-03-31

Category: Issues - Substance abuse
ChristianView Network condemns this morning's decision by the Western Cape High Court to decriminalise private growing of dagga https://goo.gl/CAIxXk as socially destructive judicial abuse of power. Dagga is scientifically proven to be addictive, drastically reduce intelligence and increases road accidents. Sociologically, it is a gateway to other drugs, increases violence, dropping out of school and harms work productivity. The decision harms unborn babies, road accident victims, victims of violence and employers who don't choose to smoke it. The flood of internet propaganda on dagga 'health benefits' is not supported by scientific studies. Even if it was in rare instances, the same benefits could be given by synthetically produced individual chemicals in dagga - with much less toxic side effect and better medical control. The plant includes hundreds of chemicals many of them seriously harmful including causing rather than curing cancer.

We believe this is a judicial activist abuse of power by the court. Matters not clearly intended by the Bill of Rights with far reaching social impacts should be decided by Parliament, as the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled last year on Euthanasia. There was no intention by the framers of the Constitution, most of whom are still alive and can verify, for the 'right to privacy' to be interpreted to allow cultivation of harmful drugs at home. Normally decisions drastically departing from precedent are left to the Constitutional Court rather than a High Court. This reckless abuse of judicial power destabilises the constitutional order. The court requires parliament to amend the law within 24 months. We argue Parliament and the Executive, the Higher Courts such as the SCA and Constitutional Court - and the public must resist such judicial power abuse and uphold the separation of powers in the constitution.

While the ruling was officially only legalising private growing of dagga at home, it will make the policing of trafficking in dagga so difficult that it will effectively legalise most of the black market trade as well.

We are waiting for a copy of the full judgment and will comment further when we receive it.

The fight against dagga is not over. This decision CAN be overturned by a higher court; the Constitutional Assembly CAN amend the constitution to clarify the right to privacy. The pro-dagga side will likely push for legalisation of commercial dagga as well. There are several different fronts on which this war is being fought, which include government policy itself and other court cases relating to dagga. The matter will likely be appealed and go to the Constitutional Court.

We at ChristianView Network are researching the scientific evidence for and against dagga and using this to education the public and decision makers. Please consider becoming a monthly supporter of our work.

Philip Rosenthal
http://www.christianview.org/
Source: ChristianView Network
Date Added: 2017-03-31

Category: Issues - Substance abuse
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