A case of governance without thought
IN response to the Chief Justice’s public stance that posessession of small amounts of marijuna should be decriminalised, the Prime Minister missed a golden opportunity at demonstrating leadership and forsight, not to mention commonsense. The Prime Minister instead opted to stick with the pointless hardlined opinion of her new Minister of National Security that marijuana consumption is illegal and therefore persons ought to feel the full brunt of the law if caught with a joint.
What we are witnessing here is governance without thought or wisdom. Because yes, currently the consumption of marijuana is illegal, but with her legal expertise one would expect the Prime Minister to ask the obvious question...why do we have this law on our law books?
Does the Government not have a reasearch unit or access to the Internet? There is enough scientifc and medical research available to Government for it to make an informed decision about the decriminalisation of marijuana. The tough talk from the new Minister of National Security may be politically expedient but it proves futile in the face of the fact countries such as The Netherlands have long successfully decriminalised the personal use of marijuana and they do not have a crime problem anywhere near ours.
Many scientific studies have proven that consuming small amounts of marijuana is actually less harmful than smoking a cigarette and no more harmful than alcohol abuse. As a matter of fact studies have also proven that marijuana is one of the least addictive drugs, coffee being a more addictive herb than marijuana. Every year people die in this country from fatal car accidents due to alcohol consumption. Why isn’t there a ban on alcohol? Cigarettes cause lung cancer. Why isn’t there a ban on cigarettes?
Marijuana is now being used effectively to treat patients suffering from depression and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. I can list a myriad other reasons why marijuana should be decriminalised. Bottom line is both the PM and the Minister of National Security need to realise there is no point in having pointless laws in our law books.
We are wasting enormous amounts of resources in our security services arresting persons for using a herb that has long been proven to be no more harmful than cigarettes and alcohol. Then we clutter our court houses with these same pointless marijuana cases, wasting valuable processing time while at the same time giving an otherwise law abiding citizen an unnecessary criminal record, and while this is being done murderers roam the streets of our country freely.
I expected a more proactive and commonsense approach from the Prime Minister who is the holder of a law degree.