MPs huff and puff over dagga legislation

MEMBERS of parliament and medical researchers have rejected a bill calling for the legalisation of dagga for commercial and medicinal use, with some warning against the hazardous effects it has on families and communities.

MPs, legal and clinical specialists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) yesterday discussed the Medical Innovation Bill, which was initially introduced as a private members’ bill by IFP MP Mario Ambrosini before he died.

Ambrosini was using medicated dagga before he ended his own life after battling stage four lung cancer for more than a year.

ANC MP Nonhlanhla Ndaba was specifically dismissive of the proposed legislation.

“I believe that dagga cannot cure cancer, but I think I agree in terms of pain management.

“Obviously, so does any substance that you use, which makes you like drunk so you can’t feel pain.

“The experience I have of people smoking dagga makes me believe there is not any stage where I will agree that we can legislate such a bill,” Ndaba said.

Members of the committee, as well as researchers from the MRC, were explicit on how legalisation and commercialisation of dagga needed to be separated from medicinal use.

The MRC briefed the committee on the legal implications and clinical research conducted by international health experts.

The officials said further investigation was needed before the matter could be finalised.

Professor Charles Parry, the MRC’s director of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs research unit, said the council did not support the bill in its current form.

“We believe the Medicines Control Council needs to consider the evidence before registering cannabinoids or cannabis in South Africa.”

He said it was problematic that the bill sought to do more than just promote medical innovation.

“It has a subsidiary aim of promoting legalisation in general,” Parry told the committee.

DA MP Wilmot James said his party had not yet taken a position on the bill.

-Babalo Ndenze

3 thoughts on “MPs huff and puff over dagga legislation

  • April 22, 2017 at 11:33 am

    We don’t need protection from dagga, but from uninformed people (MRC, Nonhlanhla Ndaba) who spitball meaningless advice from the perspective of a vilified plant. People who benefit from the existing status quo (Big Pharma) and don’t want to see their profits eroded by a therapeutic plant that grows like a weed.

    Rather science than propoganda.

  • April 20, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Guess madam want a drunk society than a highly cured one.she must be drunk from one of those expensive whiskies they nibble before discussing matters of serious wonder we’re slowly going no where as a country.

  • May 28, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Nonhlanhla Ndaba is a absolute idiot! Who the hell does She think She is? “I believe that dagga cannot cure cancer” Really, so the thousands of cases that prove others mean nothing because YOU believe it doesn’t work? More and more states in the U.S. have been legalizing it over the past year, obviously they have more brains in their left pinky finger than you could dream of having. I hope you get cancer, then you will feel first hand how irresponsible you are being with making decision like this.


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