'It is obviously ridiculous to say everyone who smokes cannabis is going to become psychotic'
A report to be published within the next few weeks is expected to confirm what some psychiatrists have been warning for years. That cannabis, reputedly taken by Queen Victoria to banish her period pains, may be driving its users - many of them children - insane.
South African British soldiers smoked cannabis before battle
Wilson Dzebu's undated article for a South African newspaper's website describes the wish of 87-year-old former World War II corporal, Simon Manzere, to meet Nelson Mandela. Manzere recounts how the British forced him to smoke dagga (a kind of South African cannabis) before battle:
Manzere said they were forced to use drugs by the British, so that they could fight the enemy without fear. “They would inject us with a powerful mixture to make us brave during ambushes. They would also force us to smoke dagga and drink a small pill that will make us not to feel hungry for two months. People were dying like flies, but I thank God because I survived the whole traumatising experience.”
'Is that a dagga I see before me?'
IOL reports that twelve people were arrested and various properties seized when police busted a drug syndicate in the Northern Cape on Wednesday, police said. Spokesperson Captain Tony Modise said police and members of the Asset Forfeiture Unit raided several houses in Kimberley and Prieska on Wednesday.
"Eight people, among them the main suspect and two youths, were arrested in Prieska, while four people were arrested in Kimberley," Modise said. "The main suspect's house, furniture, R31 000 in cash and ten vehicles in Prieska were attached by authorities." Modise said another house, a vehicle and five bags of dagga were seized by the authorities in Kimberley. Police said members infiltrated the drug syndicate in February this year.
Cop dog in drug 'bust'
News 24 reports from Johannesburg that a police narcotics dog named Brandy sniffed out R12 000 worth of drugs in Kempton Park, police said. Spokesperson Eugene Opperman said the cocker spaniel was part of the North Rand dog unit, who followed up on intelligence over the past month which led them to the block of flats on the corner of Oak and West Streets. The spaniel led the police to the roof of the flat where they discovered 100 ecstasy tablets, 71 "bullets" of dagga, one brick of dagga, 14 rocks of cocaine and 22 rock pipes. No arrests were made, but police have a good idea who is involved and expect arrests soon.
What is dagga?
Dagga or cannabis is well known in South Africa. Dagga is a green plant-like substance derived from the Dagga plant. The Dagga plant can be found in the form of a bush and the size is dependent on various factors, for instance the temperature in which it grows, the rainfall, the nutrients in the soil in which it grows and some of the inherited genes in the seeds that are being used during the planting process. There is a wide variety in sizes of the Dagga plant. A characteristic of the Dagga plant is the leaf that can be found in the form of a hand and that usually consists of an uneven number of leaves, usually five, seven, nine or eleven leaves, situated on the stem. Read more here.