Chronic Pain Sufferer Concerned With #DaggaDebate

Cilla Webster from the Post-Polio Network RSA expresses her concerns with the legalisation of dagga in South Africa in a letter to

Hi editor

One of the most important things than none of those purporting dagga legislation realise, is that whilst you are sensible and have x amount of smokes per day, you are trying to legalise something that is potentially harmful to most South Africans, including children. Like alcohol, it will cause all sorts of crime and death.

As you’ve guessed, I am totally against alcohol, and that is because as a child growing up there was always money for drink and cigarettes and never money for food, education, etc. We grew up amongst all races in a multiracial area so there was never any racism in my life.

Fighting to legalise dagga is something no one should take lightly. You are only taking yourselves, the dagga smokers, into account. What about the millions of irresponsible people who will find the money for dagga, drink and cigarettes and not for food for their children, clothing or an education? Why do the families always have to suffer? Why do you think everyone is responsible about using dagga? That they all know their limit? They are not going to draw up a budget. They will enjoy themselves to their heart’s content and their families will suffer.

We see the damage cigarettes do on a daily basis in our hospitals. Why would anyone want to do that to their lungs? We see liquor abused on a daily basis in this country and the most horrendous crimes committed in the name of ‘partying’.

If you want to smoke dagga at home do so, but don’t punish every single child who is a potential sufferer because their parent is waiting for legislation to be passed.
Whether or not you believe in Jesus Christ, the day is coming when you will be challenged for the part you play in dagga legislation, and you will be challenged on each and every life that has suffered because of that legislation, so I hope you are ready for the consequences. Everyone of us is responsible for what we do. There is a consequence for our actions. We will pay.
You should see the psychiatric wards in hospitals around the country with mentally ill patients sick from dagga use. My own husband is a classic example. I’ve seen them and it isn’t pretty. There are side-effects to all drugs. You may not get them but the ones who do have side-effects have ruined lives. Do you really want to legalise a potentially harmful component? I am a very disabled woman who has lived in constant pain for more than twenty years, live in a wheelchair and cannot even use my arms to wipe my own backside, so you can imagine what a good candidate I am to smoke myself out of my tiny mind all day but I know it isn’t worth it. I prefer to be in touch with myself, my pain and use it to benefit others. I teach crochet, knitting, etc and keep busy. Most of important of all, I believe in John 3:16, invited Jesus into my life, and live a very happy life. Of course I have my off days but I share them with my Lord and we get through the bad days as we do the good days.

I really trust that whatever you pursue in life will be for the good of humankind and not just for yourself.

Take care and be good to yourself.

Kind regards

Editor’s Reply

Hi Cilla, Thank you for taking the time to write to us at
As a publication we do not deny the harms of dagga prohibition on society. We do however rely on the latest scientific evidence as well as consider all anecdotal evidence from medical dagga patients who find instant relief from either cannabis oil or in some cases from the varporised (Smokeless) form or in the crude smoked form. While I do agree with you that lungs are not meant to inhale smoke, however tell a tobacco smoker that and you might get a stare.

Did you know that although cannabis contain more tar in the unfiltered smoke it is not the tar that cause cancer in smokers. Tobacco and many other tobacco products contain uranium, polonium-210 and radioactive lead-210. The latter is responsible for cancer in smokers. The decay time for lead-210 is 22.3 years. If you are exposed to one puff of tobacco the effects may last 22.3 years before you can say you’re clean and that is if you managed to avoid tobacco smoke, which to me sounds impossible as I believe the element make up a very tiny percentage of the air we breath. We are probably both in a room free of smoke but yet are effected on the atomic scale.

Think about this for a moment, everything we, and that includes children, consume are some form of drugs. Usually people say drugs when they mean illicit drugs. However if you look at the ultimate truth you will realise that all the ingredients on super market shelves are drugs. Drugs packed & labelled ready for children and adults to buy. yes legal drugs are regulated and the dealers and suppliers follow strict rules on many of the dangerous chemical drugs used in the mass production of food. Many people ignore this aspect of the debate because in itself it exposes the injustice towards otherwise law-abiding daggafarians. We do not jail all alcohol consumers because some are alcoholic.

Many of the dangers of dagga are a result of the prohibition and the fact that it is unregulated. Currently it is being sold in schools! School children are the dealers in a illegal unregulated system. The illegality is what drives rebellious kids to dagga.

On average 10 people are arrested for dagga possession, per police station, per day, in South Africa. The cost of one incident is well over R200 000. There are just over a 1000 police stations in South Africa. Roughly estimated the government spends a pessimistic
R20 000 000 per day on making criminals of otherwise law abiding daggafarians.

The publication does not condone the use of dagga by minors. However there are many children who are medical marijuana patients and we fully support and stand by the parents who choose alternative medical cannabis treatments. Google: Charlotte Figi & Brave MyKayla.

When someone is arrested for dagga they are given a choice between a jail sentence and rehabilitation. Nobody wants to go to jail so they pick rehabilitation every time. Yes there are people with predisposed mental conditions that might be brought on early because of dagga use but schizophrenia has not been scientifically linked to dagga use. The claims are purely based on propaganda and skewed studies funded by Anti Drug Organisations. Every study that claims dagga is dangerous is backed by some government organisation who’s purpose it is to enforce dagga law. The studies are funded with the purpose of finding harms not giving unbiased results of the truth.

You might have recently read an article on South African mainstream news that claimed dagga is more dagerous than herion. This is propaganda and evidence of a conspiracy surrounding a sensible drug debate.

I have attached an article to research that has found that alcohol is the most dangerous drug and that cannabis is safer than tobacco.

You say those who advocate dagga legalisation will be judged for the consequences of their actions but when will government and the police take responsibility and be held accountable for the rights violations they are guilty of performing everyday they uphold unjust dagga law. Will God punish those who ruin the lives of functional daggafarians who don’t have a drug problem?

In my personal capacity, I believe “The Universe is God, The Earth is the Ark and Noah is Nature.” Those advocating dagga legalisation can’t be wrong for doing the right thing. God created the dagga plant after all.

Dagga laws stem from old British segregation and racism, the foundation which was founded upon the very first Indian workers brought to Durban as slaves. Dagga was first outlawed in South Africa in 1870 to control Indian workers in KwaZulu-Natal (Dagga is a traditional herb in the Hindu faith). By 1911 dagga was outlawed for all Africans except mineworkers and by 1925 the exception was revoked to control and oppress the members of the newly formed National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Effectively doing so by making Dagga illegal. The oppressive racist State disrupted the economic well being and culture of indigenous people.

If you want to protect children from dagga you need the Dagga Regulation Bill not a illegal unregulated market that relies on prohibition to protect society.

In regards to your medical condition: I truly believe you can find relief from your chronic pain with cannabis oil or even cannabis vapor. Unfortunately the stigmatisation and illegality has robbed you of the choice, to be able to decide for yourself. What if someone with a similar condition find that cannabis oil is the difference between life and death? I cannot judge someone who finds instant relief from cannabis. All forms of cannabis use is medicinal. The human body has a endo-cannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptors located in many parts of the body. Cannabis is the only known plant with this unique cannabinoid profile that makes people high, happy, hungry and healthy.

In light of the new information I have presented you I would like to urge you to investigate the latest scientific research on dagga and make an informed decision.

Dagga Regulation Bill

History of dagga in South Africa 1870 to present

Alcohol Most Dangerous Drug After Tobacco – Research Finds
Research by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs have found that, of all drugs, alcohol presented the most danger to it’s user and those around them…

I choose dagga over alcohol, tobacco and conventional medication. I am not a criminal for making a safer choice.


Michael Hawthorne

Dagga Magazine

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