STOP THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF WEED FOR OUR SAFETY

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We ask civil societies who are not yet in support, to please join us. We have added at the bottom a list of possible cannabis substitutes as this legalization can seriously increase the use for recreational purpose while multi-disciplinary research results are not yet final in SA. 

On 31 March 2017, Judge Dennis Davis handed down a judgment aimed at decriminalizing the use of weed in private homes. Parliament now has 24 months to amend the Drug Trafficking Act, in the meantime, the matter can and should be appealed at the Constitutional Court. 

Current law: According to the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act No 140 of 1992, “no person shall use or have in his possession (a) any dependence-producing substance; or (b) any dangerous dependence-producing substance or undesirable dependence-producing substance”. In South Africa, results from the 2006 World Drug report showed that 4.3 million South Africans (or 10.3 percent of the population aged 16 or older) have an addiction problem. So, this legalization will increase significantly this figure. 

“As an academic and NPO leader, I believe that people must be  aware of how smoked weed affects the human body,” said Mr Evariste Umba, who holds a Masters degree in chemistry from the University of Cape Town and is also founder of the Life Change Centre in Cape Town, a non-profit organisation working with drug abusers with NPO (090-057) and Vendor (No: 1002524225): Combustion of herb "weed" (C21H30O2) + fire (oxygen, nitrogen...) produce dangerous fumes such as CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CO (carbon monoxide).

The risk lies in the smoked herb, because by smoking the simple herbs after combustion [combination of Carbon with oxygen (fire)] are converted into dangerous fumes such as carbon dioxide (CO2: responsible of ozone layer depletion), carbon monoxide (bind with the oxygen uptakes by hemoglobin in breathing system), nitrogen, ammonia (cause eye problem) and other dangerous fumes which, when inhaled through the lungs, affect the human respiratory system, heart, blood pressure and brain function. Long-term use can lead to cancer – not only for smokers, but also for non-smokers who inhale the fumes. (Drug Addiction, Illness & Poverty: Way Out by Evariste Umba*, Mar. 1997 - Donald P. Tashkin, MD).

However, Scientists are not against these plants and herbs per se, as they are known to have therapeutic effects. The Christian religion also has no problem with the plants, as in the Bible God gave “every green plant for food” to “everything that has the breath of life in it” (Genesis 1:28-30), but Any Plant with Medical Purpose Must first be studied in artificial membrane, be tested in animals - after a successful results, then finally tested human. Once "the medicine" is synthesized, it must Be "Prescribed" and Monitored by Professionals "Only" to avoid any any dependence that lead to addiction.  

Weed "Terpenoids group" is extracted from a plant called cannabis which is similar to plants of the following "Alkaloids drugs" are derived from: heroin (opium poppy), cocaine (coca), Methamphetamine or Tik (Ephedra) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). All these plants are used as energy boosters, for pain alleviation and as relaxants, and they all produce physical and mental side-effects. They also all have a clear history of being abused. Therefore, the use of such plants require a lots of scientific & social behavioral research and other multi-disciplinary studies before populating them.

Possible substitutes of cannabis from Terpenoids group: Plant terpenoids are used extensively for their aromatic qualities and play a role in traditional herbal remedies. Terpenoids contribute to the scent of eucalyptus, the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, the yellow color in sunflowers, and the red color in tomatoes. Well-known terpenoids include citral, menthol, camphor, salvinorin A in the plant Salvia divinorum, the cannabinoids found in cannabis, ginkgolide and bilobalide found in Ginkgo biloba, and the curcuminoids found in turmeric and mustard seed (Michael Specter, 2009,"A Life of Its Own". The New Yorker). Camphor cream are also found by the chemist in South Africa. For pain alleviation, metal complexes based products and metal based diets are also helpful starting from copper-based, Zinc-based, Nickel-based and others (please go to the chemists)

OUR QUESTIONS

·         How will the safety of non-users in the home (such as children) be guaranteed?

Have we considered the possible increase of recreational use while multi-disciplinary research results are not yet final in SA?

·         What safety and scientific policies will be put in place with regard to weed abuse, environmental health, weed mixed with other street drugs, and home inspectors?

·         Will government increase its budget for safety and security to deal with any violence caused by weed abuse?

·         We believe government should promote good health and protect its people – so why not rather focus on the study of other safe alternative medicines with no or less predictable physical and mental side-effects before engaging in the decriminalization of weed?

We ask civil societies who are not yet in support, to please join us.

 This petition has been prepared by Mr Evariste Umba of Life Change Centre as requested by Cape Town minister and community leader from "Transformation Africa - Pastor Barry Isaacs". *Order a copy of Mr Evariste's book "Drug addiction Illness and Poverty: Way out: from amazon.com, or buy it at Copy Quick, 23 Church Street, Wynberg, Cape Town (Tel/Fax: +27 21 761 4798). Contact Evariste Umba: +2721 829 0161 / +2779 091 0554, e-mail: evaristeu21@gmail.com.

Mr David Phillpotts - a Wise Council of Life Change Centre stated this: Weed in the process of inhalation through lungs, at high temperatures directly through the epithelial membrane into brain, has a deleterious effect on the lungs & brain. He suggests that more weed's research are needed for medical purposes 



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