Dr Ben swims against the tide in dagga case
MBABANE – Dr Ben Dlamini has alleged that he has fought off many people who discou-raged him from taking the dagga issue to court.
This is contained in his court papers, where he is challenging the Minister of Health, Benedict Xaba, and Police Commissioner, Isaac Magagula, on the legalisation of dagga.
The respondents are yet to reply and the matter is expected to be heard by a full bench.
In the affidavit, he claimed that his colleagues had reservations about the country’s courts.
He said he was emboldened by the country’s Constitution, which protects fundamental rights and freedoms, which are expected to be upheld by the three arms of government.
He also said he believed that any biasness by the courts would be a violation of the Constitution.
He claimed that he neither smoked nor drank alcohol.
"I do not even take caffeinated drinks such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola. I care for not only what I eat, but also for how I eat.
"Some police officers have asked me how I would feel if I found my own child or grandchild smoking cannabis. I have answered them honestly. I have said I would be happy to find them smoking or eating cannabis," he said.
He also said he would only be displeased if he found his children drinking caffeinated drinks, smoking cigarettes or taking other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, opium and oth- ers.
"I, therefore, can apply as an individual to the court to grant me an amicus curiae status so that I can assist the court to understand the reason why it needs to confirm that Section 15 of the Opium and Habit Forming Drugs Act of 1922 and Section 10 (1) schedule C of the Pharmacy Act of 1929 are inconsistent with the July 26, 2005 Constitution of Swaziland and, therefore, void," Dlamini said.
He argued that any inconsistent law became void instantly when a Constitution comes into effect.
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