Newsroom: The legalisation of marijuana

Newsroom: The legalisation of marijuana



you know this weekend I have P Member of Parliament Mario Oriana Ambrosini who recently tabled legislation to decriminalize the medical use of cannabis sadly lost his fight against stage 4 lung cancer now with Ambrosini bull still being reviewed we put this debate back on the table today should marijuana be legalized in South Africa or not and if the bull does get passed what will the benefits and/or disadvantages of this be they joined today by two organisations who are for and against the legalization of the drug but before we talk to both parties let's remember Mario Ambrosini is impassioned parliamentary plea to President Jacob Zuma asking him to decriminalize the medical use of marijuana we need to focus our government attention to develop new strategies to deal with cancer there are treatments for cancer we have made them illegal we have created in this country as in other countries a legal framework in which only date which has been proven with private mourning to be effective and safe can be administered to patients well we are joined now by mamas anima panga from the concerned young people of South Africa and William Wallace from a below the line the lobby group to talk about the issue good morning and thank you for joining us Costas morning thank you so much for inviting us as well I'm sorry you guys are totally against the legalization of it even for medical use we spoke to below the line and some lawyers about the processes and so forth some weeks back you say you don't agree why not we totally disagree because as an organization we are dealing with young people that we see day in and day out suffering from Daha they are University dropouts they a school drop outs they've even lost their jobs because of the outcome or what our data has brought about in their lives many of them come with different for example diseases like if you can come now to our Center they they become disabled they lose their minds they can't even use and use their logics anymore they totally the future is ruined because of marijuana because of data they want they can't even think at school even if we try to take them to schools they can't even think the connivance study basically they've lost everything because data has affected them William you guys you guys are obviously taking the opposite view what are your views on on what momozono just said I think that we need to first and foremost keep in mind that the symptoms of that as we know today are a result of prohibition we're not setting an environment locally where we see legalization we know that in countries that have legalized or decriminalized such as Portugal Portugal Switzerland and the Netherlands we have rights that are almost half that of countries such as the US and I think in all fairness if we are going to start simply blaming everyone's faults and vices on data we then also need to accredit their successes the last three presidents of the u.s. of America all used cannabis recreationally even Barack Obama in his memoirs has very specifically categorized how significant it was to him as a youth and how well-known he was for smoking cannabis so we know that yes there are situations where data may not agree with people but I think we draw with very broad brushstrokes when we start saying that disables people it drives them out of school I think we should be looking at socio-economic reasons for the outcomes that lead to these situations as well as that are used by the youth you are saying a little bit earlier that people become disabled and they drop out of school and so what's the methodology that you're using when you say this I'm using it because sir you know he can say whatever you wants to say but as I've said we have helped about 2,000 young people they've got this problem so no matter what his price it only does marijuana dad so that is why as an organization no matter what other people want to say but we as young people of South Africa we don't want data whatsoever we wanted to better our future and yuvan data is not they make us better people let's talk about the case we can talk about sugar we can talk about a whole lot of other stuff that have even worse effects on humanity I want to ask you about in this specific case when we talk about mr. Mario Ambrosini the Member of Parliament do you really think the drugs should not be made available to those suffering from cancer and other illnesses it should not my mom is suffering from cervical cancer dad didn't help her but the chemo therapy bet what helped her did she try the doctor she did try but it didn't help what do you say to that William I think that's a fair comment no one is saying that data is a silver bullet that it will cure all ailments what we have seen is we have seen promising lab results with rats and that we have seen reductions in cancer tumor growth and also you know it's a question of application of the darker what are the properties we want to isolate and apply but certainly it is by no means of silver bullets and no one is saying that what we are merely saying is that when you are in that situation you should be afforded the opportunity to make those life decisions yourself and we know that there are medicinal properties for daca we've seen pharmaceutical products that are now registered in the UK and we know that the US government itself holds a patents on medical marijuana not a synthetic form of it the physical plants itself in the end murmurs oh no we're talking about a plant that grows naturally not about a chemical that's created by man also if you look at the trials that have gone around the world it's it's legal in quite a few states in the US and so forth what do you say to that you know what to conclude this the legalization of data is a no to our country look at the rate of rape in our country because of people that you can't say that that makes people look at criminality because of the people that take data and then end up committing those crimes in class William I think that would be a very uninformed view if you say that data causes people to rape and people to be involved in costs I would rather say that alcohol that's freely available out there makes people much more aggressive in talking from experience what in what experiences no that's a generalization what experience never been involved with they come to us and testify but because of data this and this is what I've done those people have been involved in the worst criminal but surely you can claim surely you can't blame you can't blame it's a drug but so sugar you guys are driving more people on the planet today are addicted to sugar and kills more piece Yuga is more healthier but data is there no response way of your response I think I think mr. Pandey is very much a symptom of the problem of prohibition as well yes we need to have a sensible discussion regarding the legalization of Ithaca we need to face this inevitability but when people are on opposite ends of the table throwing her throwing big stones and serious allegations like this it does not help your discussion we want to engage with you we want the same thing we want to lower youth use but we do not believe that it is helping the youth by simply erasing them and throwing them in jail remember it is not cannabis that is criminalized it is the use of cannabis and we are criminalizing people when someone comes to you when a young man comes to you and says I'm having a problem with data do you send him to jail then you already concede that you agree that prohibition is not the answer I'm not saying they in present there's so many woman in Durban they're crying tears because from these children that I using that they've sold everything in their houses don't think that it's proven fact that data makes people aggressive my sector what are your views okay it's the same and alcohol does append alkyl van both what about sugar kills more people than that sugar is healthier take coffee without sugar and you tell me what is the taste no but but sugar kills more people than that huh it doesn't matter but does the fact that data is a drug I'm saying capital and oh it's benefits it's such a useful plug there are no benefits you're getting a little bit out right my dear let's talk about the benefits and then you respond to those benefits let's begin with the one word solution Google I think we cannot simply clang ignorant in the 21st century we are well aware that our industrial benefits medical benefits we know that the very foundations of our country are bolts on cannabis the very sales they brought civilization across the country were made from cannabis we know that people have been using tennis madmen destiny for many years and I also get the feeling that you're not even familiar with the history of white cannabis was prohibited it was prohibited firstly and mostly on racial grounds both in South Africa and in America if we look at it we know that it is a non-toxic plant is it impossible to overdose and you also make the assumption that I am not aware of the harms of it of marijuana or drugs as a whole I was raised by parents who are addicts no give me a chance you've had a nice rant I have been raised by parents were both addicts of everything from tobacco and alcohol to crack and math buttons as you would know as Mandrax and I promise you the first thing that was porn from our house was for alcohol each and every time but I cannot see how you can propose that we continue to assist the youth of South Africa by imprisoning them yes we do not want young people to use cannabis but then let us look at first world models where there is evidence such as Portugal before 10 years have decriminalized all drugs not just data such as the Netherlands with a quasi legal system and Switzerland we have seen reductions to nearly half of that of the usage in these countries as we do in America whether it's multi-billionaire and annual budgets on fighting daher they have a map on on screen of where it is legal at the moment but half the world in different stages the the surprising one North Korea it's it's leaked completely legal for all kinds of use in North Korea but I wanted to come back to you momma's honor you you're very passionate about this and almost to the extent where you where you get a little bit angry and and that's acceptable but what do you say in response to what William just told you is it not time for us to take a much more open-minded view around the subject you know really I totally disagree to the end because how are you going to control this just give me a chance because if you cannot control it now and the peoples are hard to control alcohol it's it's we control it very well at the moment and and once you decriminalize something it's much easier to control because at the moment it's out of control because it is available under the table as it were if you if you legalize it in some ways as they have in America you can control it a little bit better no no no you can't say that you are controlling alcohol because how many people's lives are being ruined by a crow act by alcohol but you can't be in any state where you tell people you not allowed to have a drink you're not allowed to smoke cannabis you're not allowed to do this in the end people you are infringing on people's rights to make those decisions for themselves no it's fine whatever you say but as an organization we stand and face that saying that as young South Africans we also want to be seen as one day we also want to be doctors one day and a belief but you're not living a healthy life abstaining from from those drives from those rats you will get think not everybody once not everyone has the same dream enough everybody wants to attain it doesn't matter that is why I'm here because I want to tell the young South Africans just leave it it won't help you it won't help you and it hasn't helped as a people as the cyp of South Africa we say no to the legalization of daca do you think no what you study what you tell me do you think no do you think if you speak to a young South African in this in this kind of tone that they would respond positively responded many times William I'm going to be frank obvious I think it's it's absurd that you would close your eyes and ears to the last hundred years of progress made regarding cannabis I think it's also a case of the blood will be on your hands regarding all those people who get sent to jail you you think that simply throwing people in jail is the solution we face effect where there is demand for the product one way or another in the Western cake demand for cannabis amongst youth has exceeded demand for alcohol once again in a framework of prohibition I know from personal experience it was easier for me at 15 years old to go to the local taxi rank and buy a banking of grass then wants to try and buy a bottle of brandy from the local bottle store and we have no control we have zero control in the framework that we have no checking for IDs and we also thereby create a situation where a youngster who perhaps does wish to purchase cannabis is now exposed to a situation with a drug dealer where is the option of heroin took crack and so on so I think you cannot plead willful ignorance in this situation you need to take responsibility for the fact and we need to realize that we want the same thing we want to reduce use amongst the youth but we see that there are more constructive ways to do this we spend nearly a billion rand every two months on arresting just that our users in South Africa that means we are arresting the stone and next door rather than the hijacker in the driveway I think it is a very tainted hand of help that you offer the youth by threatening them with imprisonment we need to look at realistic and constructive solutions to this problem rather than close our eyes and ears to them what you welcome to come down to our organization when those young people are travelling we will make that visit and we will make it happen as this is a story that we're going to continue with a discussion until the bill is discussed in Parliament thank you for joining us today that concerned young people of South Africa Mama's on a map anga and William Wallace from the lobby group below the line thank you guys for joining us a very passionate debate here this morning all of course well in memory of Mario oriani Ambrosini and their reports that the IFP MP ended his own life according to the reports the family released statement saying the politician decided to end long battle with cancer at the weekend Iranian brucine edr died at his home in kept on in the early hours of Saturday morning at the age of 53 he was in the last stages of terminal lung cancer and decided to end his long battle of suffering Ambrosini said he had rejected thermal therapy as a treatment option as it would extend his life expectancy by only a few months and would cause severe side effects in February he introduced the medical innovation bill to legalize the use of medical marijuana he also pleaded with President Jacob Zuma to write laws that gave doctors the power to describe alternative treatments when asked whether Ambrosini took his own life the family responded with he decided to end his suffering they could not provide any further details

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