Rasta parents angry over son’s drug test

IN LIMBO:  Jerome Brown and his wife, Yvonne, are worried about the future of their child, Jah-Rynomo,  17, who was suspended from school last year after a drug test Picture: SIPHIWOKUHLE PENZE -
IN LIMBO: Jerome Brown and his wife, Yvonne, are worried about the future of their child, Jah-Rynomo, 17, who was suspended from school last year after a drug test Picture: SIPHIWOKUHLE PENZE –

A Rastafarian couple who cook with dagga and whose son was suspended from classes after a positive drug test, claim the school acted unlawfully by failing to first obtain their permission for the test to be done.

Jerome and Yvonne Brown, of Uitenhage, are desperate to get their son Jah-Rynomo back into school after his suspension almost a year ago.

Jah-Rynomo, 17, has not attended the Bergsig Special School in Uitenhage since April.

He was suspended after the test before an out-of-town athletics event which his parents claim was conducted illegally because they were only told about it afterwards.

Jerome Brown, 51, a leader of the Nelson Mandela Bay Rastafarian movement who also sells Rastafarian gear and fruit and vegetables, claims the school said there was no space for his son when he tried to get him back into class.

Brown said Jah-Rynomo was worried that he would have to spend another year at home. He believed his son’s right to an education had been violated.

“The problem started in April last year when my son was chosen to represent the school in athletics in Limpopo,” Brown said.

“The principal, whom we know as Mr D Wolmarans, conducted a drug test without following proper procedures.

“He [Jah-Rynomo] was found with ganja [dagga] in his body and I went to the school to explain that he does not smoke ganja, but that we cook everything with ganja at home – hence it was found in his system.

“I also explained that he suffers from asthma and the asthma pipe does not help him so he has to drink water that is mixed with ganja.”

Brown said the school had initially accepted his son, knowing he was a Rastafarian.

According to Rastafarian belief, dagga is a gateway to understanding.

Brown said when they were told that their son would no longer be permitted to go to Limpopo, they were fine with it.

-Yoliswa Sobuwa

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7 thoughts on “Rasta parents angry over son’s drug test

  • February 16, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I suspect religious discrimination played a part in him being tested, did they test all the other children aswell or did they just do a drug test on him because he is a Rastafarian? I really feel for this guy because now the school is doing more harm to him by publicly humiliating him, discriminating against his privacy and his religion. In the end this school is negatively affecting Jah-Rynomo’s life for absolutely no reason at all, disgusting.

  • February 16, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Absolutely disgraceful! What happened to our culturally accepting Rainbow Nation? Looking at the rest of the world, our laws and our peoples perceptions seem awfully antiquated.

  • February 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I fully agree !

  • February 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

    The hypocrisy displayed in forcing certain students to use addictive and harmful legal drugs such as Ritalin while discriminating against those who use a harmless and beneficial substance, is astounding.

    Really, this is 2015. Time to let the ignorance and draconian mindsets go and catch up with the times.

  • February 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

    People should not suffer discrimination for their use of dagga or its presence in their bloodstream, and they should DEFINITELY not lose access to their education .

    Mr Wolmarans, the school principle, should allow this scholar to attend school and stop his discrimination against Rastafari and other Cannabis users. If any scholars who use cannabis at home are attentive and respectful at school and do their schoolwork properly, there is no reason to deny their rights.

    People must be judged on their behaviour, and performance, not the way they feel inside. Scholars should NOT use or possess cannabis at school, but at home, it should be at the discretion of the child’s parents whether their child may use it under their supervision, or not.

    Any person who gets arrested for cannabis possession can send their details via email to info at daggaparty dot org for advice and assistance.

    Jeremy Acton
    Dagga Party of South Africa

  • February 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Bullshit. Every kid deserves education. That boy needs to go to HIGH school man, stop defeating the ends of justice you fools

  • February 16, 2015 at 11:11 am

    This is serious human rights abuse!
    Contact the South African Human Rights Commission who is the national institution established to entrench constitutional democracy.

    Also see this:
    Busted for DAGGA? – We are NOT CRIMINALS !!!



    No matter how big or small the arrest, whether charged with possession of thousands of plants or just one gram, #JoinTheQueue is here for you. Fields of Green for ALL will assist any citizen who has been arrested and charged under South Africa’s unjust and unconstitutional Cannabis prohibition laws for possession, cultivation or dealing.

    Busted for DAGGA? – We are NOT CRIMINALS !!!

    If you or anyone that you know get busted for cannabis possession whether it is for as little as a joint or as much as hundreds of plants remember that the option exists for you to #JoinTheQueue

    The more people who do this the better for our legalisation movement. The aim is to block up the court rolls with as many Stays of Prosecution nationwide as humanly possible, which will exert more pressure on the South African government to change our unjust laws concerning dagga.
    You can either contact the Dagga Couple at : jointheq@fieldsofgreenforall.org.za
    The Dagga Party leader – Jeremy Acton at : info@daggaparty.org

    They can help you with all of the paperwork that you would need to apply for your Stay of Prosecution.

    Please remember to pass this information on to your dagga growing/using friends, relatives and neighbours!


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