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  • Dawn Du Preez


Oh yes! Now doesn’t that title grab your attention?

Would you believe that this plant has been around for centuries, right under our noses? Kept alive by a force of underground revolutionaries, hiding in plain sight? That they have protected it from persecution, knowing the value it has had to offer, keeping it alive against a rigid culling of its species? Whilst faced by enormous odds, and chased down by elite government forces, somehow support for this movement has grown progressively. One human at a time. One more keeping it alive, whilst the system threatens to annihilate its species from the face of the planet.

The original Hebrew bible records the existence of it, mentioning it in the recipe for holy anointing oil as “Kaneh-bosom”, a main ingredient, calling for up to six pounds of it.

It has been used as a traditional medicine in South Africa for centuries, soothing labour pains, menstruation pain, supporting health and wellbeing in AIDS patients, as an appetite stimulant, an asthma treatment and a treatment for glaucoma.

The Egyptians used it to treat eye complaints, inflammation and used it in enemas. It was used to make the earliest known fabrics. The Ayurvedic system cites it as a treatment for phlegmatic conditions, a cure for leprosy.

People also believed it could cure dysentery, prolong life, quicken the mind, reduce fevers, induce sleep and improve judgement. The Chinese recorded over a hundred ailments it treated. It has been used safely for centuries, with no deaths ever being recorded in connection with its use.

The research world-wide has been on-going (however controlled and discreet) for over 40 years.

With such a high value placed on this plant by so many cultures, we have to wonder at the destruction of its species. With so much modern science could still discover, we have to ask ourselves why? Honestly, don’t they need the plant to exist in order to discover its true potential?

Why are they not supporting the pursuit of knowledge?

The products of this plant were once seen openly everywhere, as ships sails, rigging, sailors clothing, ships maps and charts. Even bibles. This plant has supported our growth throughout the centuries. We have used it to further ourselves as a species. We have used it as a currency. Its fibres created the first paper money. You could use it to pay your taxes at one point in the Americas.

Farming it could gain you citizenship under the crown of England, and fines were once levied against those that refused. Great works of art were created on canvas made from its fibres, and still survive to this day resistant to mould, light damage, insects, alterations in climate, and due to its longevity we are still inspired by them today.Where would our world be without it? We are more because of it.

Yet instead of the gratitude we should be offering, we have forced it out of the light it loves so much into dark alleyways, and the hands of a black-market which now exploits it. Surely we should all be benefitting, as our ancestors did, from all that this incredible god-given plant has to offer? Yet our government wastes time and resources hunting a plant, rather than people criminals. Far easier to catch I supposed as it’s rooted to the ground.

Many countries have already discovered this plant’s potential, and are gaining not only tax income but also valuable resources. Yet in a country that could badly use some economic stimulation, South Africa again lags behind as the world changes.

I am sure by now you have realised that I’m talking about Cannabis. How many of you have shared in it, in some way, shape or form? How many of you have seen it dissolve the boundaries between race, creed and culture? It is owned by no one, yet it has the ability to bring us all together. In a country that is so divided, shouldn’t we embrace this plant as common ground, a shared experience? It is part of our cultural heritage, ALL of them.

With its ability to aid in healing not only the physical cancers which seek to destroy our species, but also the mental, spiritual and cultural cancers so deeply rooted here, we as South Africans need this plant more now than ever before. Perhaps it shall improve our judgement, Make us better, a better community, better as a people. Let us learn from the past.

Written by Dawn Du Preez

  • This is only a small part of the information on the history of this amazing plant please do your own research. For more information on the Cannabis Plant, or the legalisation lobby here in South Africa find S.A.C.C.R.A - the South African Community andCannabis Regulatory Association, on Facebook, or at

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