Some call it “Swazi Gold” and others call it “The Herb”, whatever the name though, dagga has stirred up many debates in the country over the years, the most popular one being the decision on whether to legalize it or not.
While the pros of legalizing the plant in Swaziland were highlighted in an argument by an influential member of the public, when he called for the legalization of dagga, there are several risk factors that should be taken into account. During his call for the decriminalization of “the herb”, many Swazis felt that the legalization of growing, selling and using the plant would devalue it in the market as it currently fetches an estimated E4000.00 to E5000.00 per kg. The sentiments were that the ease of accessibility would drive down its current going price due to excessive supply and a diminishing demand.
Added to this, it is believed that the widespread use and trade of cannabis in the country would lead to lawlessness amongst Swazis. Hypothetically speaking, the drug may be legalized in the country, but this does not mean that the same law will apply to the next country. Swazis willing to export it will find themselves bridge the legal regulations of their destination country. Implication of legalizing it may also have far reaching effects of that Swaziland has relations with.
The Times of Swaziland published a letter to the editor from a person who penned the various ill conceived perceptions about “the herb” and highlighted the positive side of trading in and also using dagga. The seemingly well researched piece shed light on the alleged propaganda against the drug and stated that there are “legal drugs” that possess a more detrimental effect if used inappropriately. The author of the letter further listed the number of uses that cannabis has including the manufacturing of paper, oil, textile, varnish and medicine to mention but a few. To further drive his point home, he added that the drug is linked to the relief of certain terminal illnesses such as HIV and cancer.
Furthermore, another informative news article was published online outlining what seems to be irrefutable proof of the benefits of marijuana. The article further gave an in depth analysis of the different uses of the drug and provided a list of the uses for the plant, one similar to the one penned by the author of the letter to Times of Swaziland’s editor. The article further outlined how potentially lucrative the plant could be for Swaziland as it is currently used by millions world-wide.
In an interview with yet another high ranking official in the country by one of our daily news publications, the official acknowledged that alleged pros and cons of delving in to cannabis trade. He stated that the relevant ministry would conduct a study on this so as to ascertain the benefits of either legalizing it or not.
Do you think that the pros of legalizing dagga in Swaziland outweigh the cons of this act? Leave your comment below with your take on the matter, let us have a conversation.