South Africa finally joins the trend of legalizing the use of marijuana as the Constitutional court’s ruling states that the personal use of dagga is not a criminal offence anymore. This decision was received with great excitement by consumers and sellers of weed as much as it was received with a rocky discrimination and disapproval from the rest of the society.
The users of dagga have spiritual, creative or even cultural explanations to defend its importance to them and the rest of humanity. Without mentioning the obvious medicinal reasons why people hail the use of weed, it is deemed to have positive psychedelic effects that enable the user to perform things they wouldn’t be able to perform without it, mostly in the creative space. In other instances it is suggested to offer a sense of serenity and calm that renders you absent to your current surrounding and to most young people it’s simply a trendy way of life that one has to adapt to in order to fall into the “cool” category.
Though marijuana has been considered to alleviate nausea, headache and arguably flu symptoms, those are least of the reasons why its users are as excited as they are. It seems like the actual reason is based on the fact that they don’t have to hide it anymore; freedom is what they are excited about because they never stopped using it even when it was illegal. So this is more of a freedom of expression for those who believe it to be a spiritual gesture, part of a cultural ritual or just a way of life because its use never seized.
The society on the other hand still stands on the belief that the use of marijuana “messes” up your mind one way or the other. They see it as one of the reasons why today’s youth is out of control and behaving like animals. They simply put it in the same category as alcohol regardless of its stated positive effects, be it medicinally or psychologically. The society will always discriminate the use of weed for as long as there are excessive users who end up showcasing a toxic behavior that supports their beliefs about it.
JUDGMENT: The criminal prohibition of possession, use or cultivation of cannabis by an adult person for personal consumption in private is an infringement of the right to privacy of an adult person and constitutionally invalid. (Minister of Justice v Prince) pic.twitter.com/IwA35T4QE7
— Constitutional Court (@ConCourtSA) September 18, 2018
It will take the society longer to accept the use of weed than it did with alcohol and cigarettes though they have almost the same detrimental effects to one’s overall health but gradually they will learn to accept it as part of the society’s way of life and tolerate its presence like they do with alcohol and cigarettes. One would argue that the process should be much easier for the society because weed smokers usually smoke in their private places with other weed smokers and just seat around lazing or being creative. Simply meaning they deny the insinuation that weed causes people to behave badly towards the community.
Weed only harms the one who smokes it not the community because it affects the brain in many ways but hardly causes the smoker to behave badly. It causes addictions, affects the nervous system and may also cause some brain dysfunctions to the user, if used excessively. Clearly the legalizing of weed by the concourt was only a matter of time, because it doesn’t have much of a bad press other than psychedelic effects that sometimes affect the brain when one excessively intakes weed.
More than anything, Rastafarians are the happiest of them all because to them it’s not only an inhale/exhale thing but a spiritual and cultural herb that has a deeper meaning and impact to their rituals.