Saturday, June 06, 2009

Cannabrick homes to be built in government drive

A prototype three-bedroom house, funded by the taxpayer, will go on show today. The home is part of a government drive to build more housing with a smaller carbon footprint.

The "renewable house" features walls made from Hemcrete - a mix of hemp and lime - and was built thanks to a £200,000 grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), which built the home, said building it used half the energy that building a traditional brick home would use.

It claims energy bills for the home owners would be as low as £150 a year, and predicts building on thousands of houses could begin soon.

Dr John Williams, head of materials at the NNFCC, told The Guardian: "The forecasts are that we could roll this out very quickly if someone places an order for 25,000 homes.

"Increasing numbers of farmers are growing hemp because it fits in with their current growing cycles between April and September and it is a good break crop for wheat.

"If just 1 per cent of the UK's agricultural land was used to grow hemp, it would be enough to build 180,000 homes per year."

The hemp house provides a cheaper alternative to traditional brick and mortar housing, with a build cost of £75,000 excluding groundworks.

The hemp absorbs carbon dioxide when it is growing and the NNFCC estimates that 110kg (242.5lb) of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere, the equivalent of a return flight from Plymouth to Manchester, for every square metre of wall.

- Telegraph

InternAfrica would again like to point out that South Africa has both more of the raw product available than the UK - and MORE of a housing demand.

Here is how to build your own Cannabrick home.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Zuma smoked ‘zol’ but it wasn’t dagga

ANC president Jacob Zuma did smoke "zol" with the late activist Billy Nair - but it was not dagga; just tobacco rolled in paper, the ruling party said today.

The African National Congress has noted reports in a number of newspapers today [Friday] suggesting that ANC President Jacob Zuma and the late Billy Nair smoked dagga," said spokeswoman Jessie Duarte.

"Speaking yesterday [Thursday] at the funeral service of struggle veteran Billy Nair, Zuma said that the two used to smoke ’zol’ together.

"He was talking about tobacco rolled in paper, often referred to on Robben Island as ’zol’," Duarte said in a statement.

She added however that the "ANC understands how Zuma’s statement could have been misunderstood.

"For the record, Zuma and Nair did not smoke dagga together," concluded Duarte.

- Sunday Times

Friday, June 20, 2008

Zuma: Farming must change

South Africa needs to talk about the structure of commercial agriculture, ANC president Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"Simply put, we have to talk about how best we will use the land to feed the nation and to reduce dependency on food imports," he said at a Financial Times dinner in Johannesburg.

He said the agricultural sector had continued to develop in a manner characterised by a growing concentration of ownership and farm size, under-utilisation of vast tracts of land, capital intensity, job-shedding and the casualisation of labour.

To deal with rising food prices, he said: "We must get people to work the land in the countryside, through effective rural development programmes.

"We are not a producer of oil and but we have land that can be cultivated. We have a robust programme of land usage for food production, which can help us achieve food and job security."

He said there would be no major policy shifts when a new administration takes over next year.

"We say this as our policies are already in existence, they were adopted at the 52nd national conference in Polokwane.

"We cannot rule out fine-tuning and strengthening some of the policy areas, but in essence, the direction was charted in Polokwane."

However, he said there was a lot of room for improvement regarding implementation, which meant that civil servants were committed, ready and willing to effectively implement the policies of the government of the day.

"The public servants will need to be awake to the needs of a ruling party that will require a visible and tangible implementation of its policies."

He said SA had the potential for sustainable economic growth, coupled with job creation.

"We have a perfect idea of where we want to take the country over the next five years. Economic transformation is a key priority, The central and most pressing challenges we face are unemployment, poverty and inequality."

He said the most effective weapon in the campaign against poverty was the creation of decent work, which required faster economic growth. - Sapa

Monday, March 31, 2008

Moral Fibre

Remember hemp? Dagga's non-narcotic cousin, the wonder plant that was going to alleviate rural poverty, stimulate small enterprises, provide jobs, houses, textiles, paper, food and possibly even save us from global warming and the oil crisis?

Well, that’s what we were told when the government launched the National Hemp Initiative back in 1998.

So where are all the fields of waving weed?

You’d have to go to the Eastern Cape to find them, and then you’d find only five little plots, adding up to about a hectare in total, each surrounded by a two-metre-high fence in case anyone is stupid enough to try and smoke the stuff.

After almost 10 years and the investment of tens of millions of rands, the government’s hemp-growing project has done little but prove that hemp grows very well in South Africa.

There is a small and flourishing local hemp industry, producing everything from clothing, cosmetics and bio-friendly nappies to food products and building materials, but the hemp they use comes from elsewhere, mostly China.

Why aren’t we growing our own? The short answer is that the law still doesn’t differentiate between dagga and industrial hemp.

The law, in this case certainly, is an ass. The hemp strains authorised for research in South Africa contain less than 1% of the psychoactive agent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). To be of the slightest interest to a recreational user, the plant would have to contain at least 3% THC, and no drug dealer of any disrepute would touch anything under 7%.

More than 40 other countries have managed to make the distinction, including most of Europe, Canada, Russia, India, Thailand, South Korea and, of course, China, which produces most of the world’s crop. Global hemp sales have rocketed from just $10 million in 1996 to $250 million in 2002, the last year for which we could find statistics. But the market is continuing to boom as the search for greener alternatives to everything becomes more urgent.

A noted absentee from the list of growers is the US, which, like South Africa, uses the spectre of mass drug addiction to justify its indiscriminate suppression of this incredibly useful and versatile plant (although this hasn't prevented six US states from issuing growing permits in defiance of federal law).

Where there is no reasonable explanation for government policy, it is not unreasonable to follow the money.

American corporate interests are widely blamed for the ruinous 1937 “marijuana” tax which destroyed the US hemp industry overnight. For hundreds of years before that, hemp had been an important fibre crop, used for sails, rope, clothing, paper, building materials, fuel, food and medicine. It was so important that you could be jailed for refusing to grow it.

But the well-connected timber and cotton barons, along with the increasingly muscular petrochemicals industry, weren’t willing to compete with a material that had so many uses, and which anyone could grow in their own back yard.

Could a similar conspiracy be behind South Africa’s reluctance to allow even the most tightly-regulated cultivation of a commercial hemp crop?

One man who has no doubts is former advisor to the Department of Agriculture Thierry-Alban Revert.

Revert, a food technology engineer, scientist, entrepreneur and sustainable development consultant, was a key member of the governmental task team charged with redesigning South Africa’s agricultural policy after 1994.

The team produced a series of policy framework documents aimed at transforming the agricultural sector by creating commercial opportunities for small farmers.
As both Revert (and any small farmer) can tell you, few of their recommendations have made it off the page. [Small farmers mean small money for politicians. Agribiz, however ... – Ed.]
But one proposal, the National Hemp Initiative, was enthusiastically adopted by government at the time.

Even the cannabis-shy Department of Health was persuaded to grant special permission for a pilot growing project, and the first seeds were planted in 1996 at the Agricultural Research Council's testing centre in Rustenberg.

Revert, who says he knew nothing about hemp before he began his research, was so excited about the plant’s potential that he joined the hemp revolution.

As a member of the officially sanctioned National Organic Produce Initiative, he joined forces with a number of other NGOs to form the Western Cape Hemp Initiative. In 2004, they partnered the provincial Agriculture Research Council in growing trials in Riversdale and Elsenberg, Stellenbosch.

The trials continued for four seasons with great success, so everyone involved was keen to move on to the next step – actually making use of the crop...

They devised a project called Grow your House which would encourage rural communities to farm their own hemp and use it as building material. One hectare of hemp can produce enough material in four months for an RDP-sized house – a much stronger and more comfortable one too. The company hoped to build between 10 000 and 20 000 such houses over the next 10 years.

But this time, they were refused permission even to import the seeds.

Revert says they were told that the three hemp cultivars registered as industrial crops by the Department of Agriculture had “disappeared” from the register.

“It’s unbelievable. After all these years ... they’ve spent R65 million, and we’re back at the beginning.”

Revert blames greed, both of the national research councils which are getting all that tax-payers’ money to investigate what everyone already knows, and of hemp’s competitors in the commercial world.

“And of course the research councils have long-standing relationships with these industries, so their interests are often the same.”

Revert says he has spent enough time in the boardrooms of big corporations to know how they operate, and that he has no doubt that rival industries will do anything to stop hemp in its tracks.

“This is the worst form of insidious colonisation of our resources and people. The country has moved but the basic players in the first economy are the same. These guys have not transformed or changed their economic agenda.”

Hemp advocates like Revert can recite the plant’s competitive advantages like litany.

“It produces four times as much cellulose per hectare as a tree plantation, and it produces it in four months, while timber takes seven years.

“The pulp is almost white so you don’t need to use chloride bleach like you do with wood pulp.

“It is a more versatile fibre than cotton and more sustainable: it contains a natural pest repellent, it uses much less water and fertiliser and if you plant it properly, you don’t get weeds, so you don’t need herbicides. (So there is no profit in it for the agro chemicals industry? Bad idea!)

“It is also a very effective rotational crop – far better for enriching the soil than a legume.

“Bricks made from hemp and lime are seven times lighter than those made from clay or cement, provide excellent insulation and are much stronger.

“Cement uses huge amounts of fossil fuels so it is a carbon taxing industry, while hemp is a natural carbon sink (absorbs and holds carbon).

“Hemp seeds are a wonderful food. They contain more essential fatty acids than any other vegetable source and they are high in protein, B-vitamins and fibre.

“The plant has a very complex DNA so it is almost impossible to create a genetically engineered variety.”

And much, much more.

“So you can see,” Revert concludes, “why all these industries would be against hemp. Especially since it is so easy to grow. You don’t need to be a big corporation with big plantations and machinery.”

As far as he is concerned, if the government is serious about its developmental agenda, it “has a duty to promote this technology immediately”.

“In almost 14 years of democracy nothing has changed. The more we delay stuff, the more people get poor ... and poorer and poorer. This is very painful for all of us.

“Climate change is another reason this is so urgent. Hemp is not only relevant as a crop, but for the health of the planet.”

He says that in the coming weeks he intends “engaging” more strenuously with the Department of Agriculture in a last ditch attempt to make them see sense.

“I will try to explain why this is so urgent. If the explanation route doesn’t work, we will have to consider other options. Like a public awareness campaign. Perhaps even the legal route.”

In the meantime, the NGO will press on with its housing project, but it will be on a far smaller scale and will have to depend on hemp imported from more enlightened, more farsighted nations. Continues to focus on delivering sustainable appropriate affordable carbon efficient cannabrick building options to the Western Cape Habitat Crisis.

(Next month noseweek takes a closer, critical look at the reasons and explanations offered by those hampering hemp's progress.) Noseweek

Thursday, March 06, 2008

'I've smoked Africannabis with Bruce Willis'

Bruce Willis was introduced to African cannabis by rapper Rick Ross.

The hip-hop star claimed he used to smoke the illegal drug with the Die Hard 4.0 actor during an interview on The Ramiro and Pebbles Morning Show on Boston's JAM'N 94.5 FM radio station on Wednesday.

When questioned about the most famous celebrity he has ever got high with, Rick laughed: "Bruce Willis".

He added: "He doesn't talk too much when he's high - he'll just look at you, you know, 'I'm really smoking with this dude'.

"You know, I had to introduce him to that African thing, I got him some Africannabis."

In a recent interview, the hip-hop star also revealed: "I'm a weed fanatic. I've smoked blunts with some of the biggest people in the world. To me, that's my hobby. To be able to say I smoked blunts with Snoop Dogg, I've smoked blunts with Bruce Willis, I've smoked a blunt with Too Short. I'm what you call a Cannabis Cup Champion!"

While Rick didn't reveal when he met up with Bruce, this isn't the actor's first encounter with the illegal substance.

He revealed recently: "Living in Manhattan was the most irresponsible, carefree time of my life. I had a great time going wild. I drank too much. I also smoked weed and tried various drugs.

"I only liked pot, though. I smoked a lot of pot and when I wasn't acting, I was out dancing every night. I had a blast and I could stretch $20 over three days - I would live off pizza and beer." - Tonight

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cannabis set to build new farm wealth

THE Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is piloting a multi-billion-rand agri-business project that could encourage Eastern Cape farmers to grow hemp and flax for the textile industry.

The project is aimed at boosting economic activity. Hemp and flax are used for various purposes, including textiles and food.

“The main objective is to exploit these plants to extract long and short fibre,” said CSIR fibres and textile manager Abisha Tembo.

He said a recent presentation on this matter was well received by the provincial economic development forum and that a pilot project to grow flax would be established by the Cacadu district municipality before the end of the year.

“Other than the two Industrial development zones in Port Elizabeth and East London, the automotive industry, and, to a smaller extent, sheep and angora goat farming, there is no other flagship economic project.

“Growing and processing flax and hemp will provide a new industry that is viable and has the potential to be worth billions, if farmers get the required interventions in terms of government subsidies,” he said.

Trials the institute had conducted in Qamata, Libode, Addo and East London had shown that the province had the right climate to cultivate the crops.

Although hemp is illegal in South Africa as it is a member of the cannabis sativa family, various organisations, including the CSIR and the Agriculture Research Council, are lobbying government to change the legislation.

CSIR natural plant fibre centre manager Sunshine Blouw said: “The advantage of the two plants is that flax is grown in winter and hemp in summer. Farmers can grow both in different seasons without having to acquire different technologies for production and processing as both plants use the same technology.”

The CSIR, Blouw said, would help set up a processing and production facility in an area accessible to all farmers. “Ideally, the farmers should own it through a co-operative.”

Notwithstanding China‘s dominance in textiles and clothing, Blouw said markets were available.

“In 2004, South Africa imported R100-million worth of flax and R75-million worth of hemp. It would not make business sense to import if you can buy locally.” - The Herald

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Migraine May Be Related To Underproduction Of Cannabinoids

Perugia, Italy: Patients with a history of migraine headaches may be suffering from a clinical deficiency of the endocannabinoid system, according to clinical trial data published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Investigators at Italy’s University of Perugia, Department of Public Health, reported that patients with chronic migraines possessed "significantly lower" levels of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) in their platelets compared to age-matched controls.

"These data support the potential involvement of a dysfunctioning of the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems in the pathology of chronic migraine and medication-overuse headaches," researchers’ concluded.

A previous paper published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters similarly suggested that migraine, fibromyalgia, and other treatment-resistant conditions may be associated with dysfunctions in the endocannabinoid system. This system is believed to play a primary role in regulating humans' mood, appetite, skeletal development, motor coordination, digestion, and reproduction.

Full text of the study, "Endocannabinoids in platelets of chronic migraine patients and medication-overuse headache patients: relation with serotonin levels," appears in the November issue of the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Benefits of Cannabis in Migraine, and other Treatment-Resistant Conditions - Russo EB

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Swiss Study Finds Cannabis Use Alone May Benefit Some Teens

Teens that use cannabis may function better than teen tobacco-users, and appear to be more socially driven and have fewer psychosocial problems than those who do not use either substance, according to a Swiss survey.

Researchers at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland surveyed 5,263 students, including 455 who smoke marijuana only, 1,703 who smoke marijuana and tobacco and 3,105 who smoked neither one.

The survey, which will be published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that marijuana-only smokers had better relationships with friends, better grades and were more likely to play sports than teens who smoked tobacco and those who abstained from both substances.

A U.S. substance abuse expert disagreed with the study and said U.S. teens should not be encouraged to use marijuana, particularly since teenagers’ brains are still developing at this time.

“Switzerland is very liberal compared to us in many ways,” Dr. Edwin Salsitz, senior physician of chemical dependency at Beth Israel Medical Center. “In general, it’s not a good idea for teenagers to use psychoactive drugs. The brain is still developing until the age of 21.

“Maybe (there’s) a cultural bias there that says it’s ok to use marijuana once or twice a month,” he continued “But from what I know, I’ve never heard that anyone thought it was beneficial. Most experts here would say that it’s not a good idea to use cannabis before the age of 15, because it interferes with school and the development of brain.”

Researchers found that marijuana-only users had the following characteristics:

— More likely to be male (71.6 percent marijuana smokers versus 59.7 percent of teens who used tobacco and marijuana)

— Play sports (85.5 percent vs. 66.7 percent of tobacco and marijuana)

— Live with both parents (78.2 percent vs. 68.3 percent of tobacco and marijuana)

— Have good grades (77.5 percent vs. 66.6 percent of tobacco and marijuana)

Cannabis-only smokers were also less likely to have been drunk in the past 30 days, less likely to use cannabis before the age of 15 and less likely to use marijuana more than once or twice in the past 30 days. They were also less likely to use other illegal drugs, compared to students who used both substances, researchers found.

“The gateway theory hypothesizes that the use of legal drugs (tobacco and alcohol) is the previous step to cannabis consumption,” the authors wrote. “However, recent research also indicates that cannabis use may precede or be simultaneous to tobacco use and that, in fact, its use may reinforce cigarette smoking or lead to nicotine addiction independently of smoking status. In any case, and even though they do not seem to have great personal, family, or academic problems, the situation of those adolescents who use cannabis but who declare not using tobacco should not be trivialized.”

In comparison to students who abstained from both substances, marijuana-only smokers were:

— More likely to be male (71.6 percent cannabis users vs. 47.7 percent of teens who abstained)

— Have a good relationship with friends (87 percent vs. 83.2 percent)

— Be sensation-seeking (37.8 percent vs. 21.8 percent)

— Play sports (85.5 percent vs. 76.6 percent)

— Less likely to have a good relationship with their parents (74.1 percent vs. 82.4 percent)

The fact that some students who smoked marijuana were less likely to have a good relationship with their parents wasn’t surprising to Salsitz. “The way to look at it is to look at alcohol as an analogy,” he said. “Do adults or teens who use alcohol have better relationships than those abstinent? That’s just not true. It looks like if you smoke marijuana and not tobacco, it’s better for you.”

He said the study should be viewed in terms of culture. “In France, people drink wine with food, but they don’t get drunk,” he said. “Kids also start doing this when they are young, and that’s different from here. I don’t think anyone would say that the active ingredient in marijuana is doing anything good in the brain, compared to abstaining or smoking tobacco, so there must be cultural reason for this happening.” - FOX NEWS

Friday, October 26, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Legalise all drugs.

One of Britain's most senior police officers is to call for all drugs – including heroin and cocaine – to be legalised and urges the Government to declare an end to the "failed" war on illegal narcotics.

Richard Brunstrom, the Chief Constable of North Wales, advocates an end to UK drug policy based on "prohibition". His comments come as the Home Office this week ends the process of gathering expert advice looking at the next 10 years of strategy.

In his radical analysis, which he will present to the North Wales Police Authority today, Mr Brunstrom points out that illegal drugs are now cheaper and more plentiful than ever before.

The number of users has soared while drug-related crime is rising with narcotics now supporting a worldwide business empire second only in value to oil. "If policy on drugs is in future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be replaced with an evidence-based unified system (specifically including tobacco and alcohol) aimed at minimisation of harms to society," he will say.

The Chief Constable's verdict

* British drugs policy has been based upon prohibition for the last several decades – but this system has not worked well. Illegal drugs are in plentiful supply and have become consistently cheaper in real terms over the years.

* The number of drug users has increased dramatically. Drug-related crime has soared equally sharply as a direct consequence of the illegality of some drugs. The vast profits from illegal trading have supported a massive rise in organised crime.

* The ABC classification of drugs is said by the RSA Commission to be indefensible and is described as "crude, ineffective, riddled with anomalies and open to political manipulation". Most importantly, the current ABC system illogically excludes both alcohol and tobacco.

* Mr Brunstrom says: "If policy on drugs is in the future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral. Such a strategy leads inevitably to the legalisation and regulation of all drugs."

* The chief constable asserts that current British drugs policy is based upon an unwinnable "war on drugs" enshrined in a flawed understanding of the underlying United Nations conventions, and arising from a wholly outdated and thoroughly repugnant moralistic stance.

* He concludes: "The law is the law. In the meantime, I will continue to enforce it to the best of my ability despite my misgivings about its moral and practical worth."

Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dagga seized in Port Alfred home

Dagga packed in 50 kilogram bags worth about R120,000 was found at a house in Nemato in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday. Captain Mali Govender said police found the dagga on Tuesday night. No one was arrested as there was nobody in the house. - Sapa

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Prince! Perfect!

  • Azifwekaré - “homeless pothead” on the song "Style" and director credit to the "Face Down" video
  • adopted as official name from 1993 to 2000
Click the pic - you have 21 days...
Live Sky High Genius

Son of safety and security - drunk death on wheels

The son of the national minister for safety and security, Siyabonga Nqakula, smelled of liquor when he allegedly drove into oncoming traffic and caused a head-on collision earlier this year, the Cape Town magistrate's court heard on Friday.

He was also unsteady on his feet, the victim, Yaseen Moses, told the court.

Nqakula, 27, of Bruma in Johannesburg, pleaded not guilty before magistrate Phindi Norman to charges of drunken driving and reckless driving... - SAPA

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labels warn boozers

The Health Department has published regulations requiring labels on alcoholic beverages to carry messages “highlighting the negative effects of alcohol consumption”.

The regulations have been published under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act.

They are the result of lengthy consultations with parties concerned to address “the challenge of alcohol abuse”, the department said yesterday. – Sowetan

I wonder what these labels will look like:

Warning if you drink while pregnant your child could be affected.

That's mild and should get the message through...


Could cause liver cirrhosis (sic)/e.g./i.e./'I-am-saying'/just like Health Minister Manto.

And for the illiterates? Is it going to be printed on papsak's? and on umqombothi yeast packs? in all 11 Languages....?

Oh yes! One day Cannabis will have a label on it that will read as a much milder and less harmful intoxicant. Truth will prevail!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Geen Boomplant week vir 2007

National Arbour Week kicks off in South Africa

This year's National Arbour Week will be celebrated under the theme "Plant a tree, grow our future". The week starts today and will end on September 7. In Limpopo, various events will be held in all the municipalities.

The main focus of the week is to highlight opportunities for sustainable economic development, community participation, poverty alleviation and job creation in forestry. It is also to focus on the vital role trees play in the natural environment and to encourage the youth to participate in tree-planting activities. - SABC

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alcohol abuse a drain on economy

More than double the amount collected in liquor taxes is spent on the social costs of alcohol-related trauma and accidents in South Africa each year.

With this in mind, a government and industry initiative - aimed at reducing the socio-economic impact of alcohol by ensuring legal compliance by traders and responsible drinking by consumers - was announced on Monday... - Pretoria News

Sunday, August 12, 2007


This lion was reared by the guys in the clip,he was then released into the wild in Africa but a year later the guys returned to see if he was doing OK.

Check out the look on the lions face as he realises-"thats not food its my MATES!!"
The wild lion he is friends with, has never met the humans and is totally passive towards them.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rasta warders to take case to High Court

Five prison warders were dismissed from their jobs for refusing to cut off their Rastafarian dreadlocks, their union said Friday.

The five, employed at the Pollsmoor prison outside Cape Town, were disciplined for contravening the Department of Correctional Services' dress code, said Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union spokesperson Benzi Soko.

"The dress code cannot supersede the constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion," said Soko, adding the matter would be pursued to the highest level necessary.

"Our lawyers are preparing an urgent application to the Cape High Court for the members' immediate reinstatement."

He said the five were barred from the workplace, but were receiving their full salaries pending the outcome of an internal appeal process.

The department confirmed the dismissals, saying the five "defiantly ignored warnings to comply" with its dress code.

"The department of correctional cervices fully respects the legal rights of every official but cannot compromise discipline nor appreciate the flouting of its policies and regulations," it said in a statement. - Sapa-AFP

Monday, July 16, 2007

City's heart is hardening, say homeless

For the homeless on Fort Wynyard Road, the by-law is a puzzle: "I want to ask them why they don't take the rubbish away but they take us away," says Rasta. - Cape Argus

Friday, June 29, 2007

They Say..

Police say, In the 2005/2006 financial year 290 000kg of dagga valued at R377-million was seized throughout South Africa while police, through their cannabis eradication programme, destroyed 170.5ha of dagga plantations valued at R119-million in the Eastern Cape alone.

Pretoria News

I would say - someone can't add... that looks like the appelton case below and not total figures, once again I would have to question these figures - which continuously seem to amaze me. How this can be called a success when each year the figure is higher - - - all that is clear to me - is the current way of dealing with drugs is flawed and destined to fail in preventing social harm.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guard stoned to death

A fire destroyed shacks at an informal settlement in Mamelodi near Pretoria on Friday, police said.

Police spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said the cause of the fire was not known, but it started after residents at the Lusaka informal settlement in Mamelodi East attacked security personnel who had arrived to evict them.

He said one of the security officers was stoned to death and a truck was also burnt.

He said people refused to move and a confrontation ensued between them and the security officers.

"They threw stones at security guards and one security officers was stoned to death.

"A truck that was to load their belonging was also set on fire," he said.

A strong police contingent had been sent to monitor the situation, he said. - Sapa

Police & Prison call for review of Cannabis/Dagga laws

The union representing the majority of South Africa's police called on Thursday for a review of the laws against dagga and sex work.

In resolutions approved on the final day of its national congress in Cape Town, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) declared that both areas should be "regulated".

One delegate even urged that if sex work was legalised it should be turned into a public-private partnership rather than be left to the vagaries of free enterprise.

The resolutions, both proposed by Popcru's Gauteng region, follow a suggestion earlier this year by National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi that prostitution be legalised for the 2010 soccer world cup.

The resolution on dagga noted that use of the drug was regulated in other parts of the world, such as Holland's Amsterdam.

It called for research on "the prospective aspects of dagga regulations" and on the drug's medical effects, and committed the union to work towards steps "to counter the stigma".

The union will also "pursue discussions with authorities on dagga regulations".

One delegate, Durban police officer Christopher Mkhize, told the congress that dagga had been around in South Africa long before white settlers arrived and decided it was wrong.

"We can't stay with that in a democratic country," he said. "It is our democracy and we are the ones who should say what is wrong and what is right."

He said he himself would not have achieved his current qualifications if it were not for the money raised by his family's cultivation of dagga in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

"Most of our kids have been taught through money generated by dagga," he said.

The resolution on sex work - described in the original motion as "prostitution" but changed after objection from a female delegate - called for "street transactions" to be made illegal, which they already are, and for a working environment which complied with labour legislation.

Giving his interpretation of the dagga resolution, union president Zizamele Cebekhulu told Sapa afterwards that the union was calling for research "that confirms the danger of dagga to a human being".

He said the drug contributed a certain percentage to South Africa's gross domestic product whether one liked it or not.

"Some parents are still smoking dagga in their house. It's outlawed, but they smoke it. So we say, regulate this thing, tax this thing, and... let dealers not go away with the money."

He insisted that regulation of the drug would mean a harsher regime than the current ban on dagga.

"It's useless to say it's illegal, and yet you have got no control measures over it.

"We say, regulate it, meaning that you put more stricter measures in terms of dealing and in terms of consuming dagga." - Sapa
InternAfrica is a not-for-profit organisation addressing the Cape Habitat Crisis through education of sustainable green building methods as demonstrated here on HouseIT