To: Print and Electronic Media Houses
From: Office of the Secretary-General, ADeC
Subject: It’s time to end the criminalisation of Cannabis and Hemp
Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Embargo: Monday, September 10th, 2019

It’s 2019, and for some bizarre reason, we are still arguing whether or not cannabis and hemp should be entirely legalised. We as ADeC believe thatcannabis should be fully legalised for personal and commercial use.
 
The research has been in on cannabis for a long time, it is no more harmful than many other legalised substances, and possible less so than alcohol or tobacco. The way we treat smokers of cannabis is appalling, not only do we arrest and harass young people who are the most likely to be arrested for consumption, we often waste the valuable time of police officers and the court process pursuing this policy of prohibition.
 
Around the world, countries are have already begun to legalise cannabis and hemp and are seeing the positive health, economic and social benefits. South Africa should not only join them but lead the way as we have on so many other progressive issues.
 
Beyond personal use, cannabis could also be a fantastic opportunity for economic development. As more of the world legalises it, we have an opportunity to become an international producer and exporter of not only cannabis, and cannabis-related products, whether they be merchandise, hemp products or anything else.
 
ADeC calls for the immediate cessation of arrests or incarceration related to Cannabis consumption, along with the immediate pursuit of legislation to legalize cannabis. This legislation must meet a number of critical criteria that ensure the benefits of cannabis legalization can felt by all South Africans. First, it is important that the government does not impose a licensing system on the consumption of Cannabis that would impose an undue burden, particularly on poorer South African. It is also important that all regulations should be tested against other legal mood-altering substances such as Tobacco and Alcohol, ensuring that it cannot be more difficult to purchase, produce or sell cannabis than these currently legal substances.
 
South Africa has an opportunity now to develop a “new cannabis economy” that benefits every single South Africa in terms of economics, health and social development. Read our upcoming manifesto to see how ADeC in government will prioritize and implement a cannabis legislative agenda.
 
Media Enquiries:
Please contact
 
Dr Moses Mayekiso
President
Cell: +27 67-026-2270
Email: mosesm@adec.org.za

Nathaniel Bricknell
Secretary-General
Cell: +27-74-726-6150
Email: development@adec.org.za