Dr Ben wants laws banning dagga set aside
MBABANE – Retired Registrar of the Examinations Council of Swaziland Dr Ben Dlamini has taken the Minister of Health Benedict Xaba and Police Commissioner Isaac Magagula to court over the legalisation of dagga.
Dlamini wants the High Court to set aside some provisions in the Opium and Habit Forming Drugs Act of 1922 and the Pharmacy Act of 1929, which bars usage of dagga, also known as cannabis, because he alleges they are not in line with the Constitution.
This is the second application on the same subject by Dlamini after the first one never made it to a courtroom because it was not professionally written. Xaba and Magagula are yet to file responding papers in the matter which is yet to be heard before court.
Dlamini, an educator for more than 50 years, is known for advocating for the legalisation of dagga, which he says would bolster the country’s economy. He has argued that dagga is not a dangerous drug as people have been made to believe.
He said the Acts were put up by colonialists in a bid to prevent its growers in the colonial era from giving competition to cotton growers at the time. He said he will argue his case based on a number of studies, most of which were funded by the United States of America.
Dlamini alleged that most of the studies exposed lies and propaganda that had been used to demonise dagga. The matter is pending before the High Court.
He based his argument on Section 35 of the Constitution of Swaziland which stipulates that where a person alleged that any provision was likely to or contravened his person or a group he belonged to, he may apply to the High Court for redress.
He also quoted Section 151 (2) of the Constitution which provided that the High Court has jurisdiction to enforce fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and determine any matter of a constitutional matter.
Dlamini has even said he had told people he would be happy if he could find his children smoking dagga.
I think it 'll b beta 4 SD 2 allow dagga as it 'll boost da country's economy
May 23, 2012, 5:41 AM, Richard Tsabedze (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is the old man smoking?
May 23, 2012, 5:41 AM, Mdu (email@example.com)
The old man may be smoking his socks in the meantime!
May 23, 2012, 11:58 AM, ntombkababa
Dr. Ben is on the right track...just imagine, how many deaths per year are as a result of Marijuana usage as compared to deaths caused by alcohol. Alcohol is legal but its consumption has regrettable effects in society,deaths thru accidents, domestic violence, rapes, murders and robberies whereas this natural herb doesnt have these kind of disastrous effects. Marijuana if grown for pharmecuetical purposes and regulated, controlled and taxed would bring a lot of revenue in the country which is what we need at the present moment in this financial crisis we are in. the laws regulating it right now are old and outdated. Government should seriuosly consider this case and the courts should rule in favour of Dr. Ben.
May 23, 2012, 2:28 PM, phathizwe malambe
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