My personal perspective on cannabis

By Lesiba Martin Mokgokong

Earlier in the year my father spoke about planting cannabis in his big yard because the market price of maize is very low, I told him that if his plan was legal he would make money because we don’t smoke.

He eventually planted maize as usual but I took my time in explaining to him that canabis is not only for smoking as the president suggested, there are hemp products that can be made from the plant material like clothing and environmentally friendly building bricks.

On the other hand if he intends on supplying those who smoke or take canabis oil for treatment of various ailments including cancer he is going to have to identify male plants as early as possible in thier growth to kill them, leaving only female plants that are going to make flowers that contain high concentrations of the plants active ingredients. He also has to ensure that these female plants do not get fertilized by pollen from other male plants that is brought by winds, there is nothing more frustrating than having your female plants fertilized by some male plant 50km’s away when you did your best to remove all your males in your grows.

We also spoke about the law that one adult can have only 4 plants in the yard, not more. For two adults living in the same house the maximum number of plants is 8 and buying or selling of cannabis is illegal in the country but it can be gifted, no monetary exchange is allowed. To export to countries that consume cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes you need to get a license from SAHPRA that costs R30k and setup a 2hectare farm with processes for just above R10m with tight security and digital systems, that will also depend on the maximum export value or tons that the DTI set, if they set the country to supply 250kg’s a month, that’s it, the excess will have to be burnt by the republic. This is where I was supposed to stop talking.

I started explaining that different plants have different effects, there are many strains but the main ones are sativa and indica, sativa leaves one with a lighter high where after smoking or eating the oils you can still function productively albeit unnecessary excitement while indica gets one sleepy and calm, this is the one that is easy to plant and grows bigger and is readily available from illegal street vendors.

This then brought the issue of nyaope into focus, because cannabis is said to be a gateway to hard drugs. In my view, the drawback with cannabis is that consistent consumption creates a situation where the body get used to the effects such that they are no longer felt, like nothing happens after smoking. The only way to start experiencing effects is if you take a break for days or weeks then when you go back the effect will return until they disappear again. When the uneducated experience this lack of effects from consumption they go for the next drug to substitute the weak zol and that can be anything from nyaope, rock or kat.

.Lesiba Martin Mokgokong is a Gauteng based serial entrepreneur.

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