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George Joubert tells SEED INC readers how it really is!

Maybe the SA Government will take note of the irrefutable evidence it has gathered during the lockdown that proves that alcohol is by far the biggest social ill currently infecting the South African populace.

When booze was banned hospitals emptied out, domestic violence incidents all but disappeared and road deaths could be counted on one hand. Prior to this if drunk South Africans were not maiming or killing themselves behind the wheel or the kitchen counter, they were doing so in record numbers to their ‘loved ones’. We are such a sick society that we normalised this mayhem within our Zeitgeist – so much so that not much has changed as we have moved to level one lockdown. Or perhaps not much has obviously changed.

Initial indications are that as many as 15% of South Africans have given up alcohol and cigarettes due to the forced sobriety induced by the lockdown and subsequently being able to accurately assess their financial and physical wellbeing. I am all for freedom to choose, but please can public and health policy be based on empirical evidence and not the prejudices of a small cohort of moral dinosaurs who feel they have the power to decide what South Africans can do with their bodies?

Few observers have noted that Cannabis was not banned during the lockdown and in fact the only thing that was difficult to obtain was hemp rolling papers needed to roll a joint.

Our hospitals were not full of violent stoned criminals and the roads seemed calmer than normal – perhaps no coincidence?

Cannabis is now globally regarded as medicine for a whole host of ills, including lung cancer caused by smoking cigarettes. A friend of mine has an adopted 12 year-old son with severe ADHD (a condition caused by fetal alcohol syndrome). He was recently expelled for erratic behaviour, from the only private school his parents will ever afford because the mother is a member of staff there. For most of their life they have spent a large sum of money seeking the best help for his condition and the one prescribed medication (Concerta, Ritalin etc) is worse than the next in terms of the side effects the child experiences. He was weighing under 40kgs and extremely unhappy when it was suggested she try CBD capsules freely available from leading pharmacies in SA. Within a week the child started gaining weight, sleeping properly and soon came off all other medication with zero adverse side effects – in her words – ‘It is a miracle!’ The young man’s school marks even showed a slight improvement and for the first time in his life he seems happy.

The Constitutional Court in South Africa has instructed our Government to legalise the use and beneficiation of Cannabis for private use. The cases before the ‘Concourt’ did not cover the commercialisation of Cannabis or hemp leaving a gaping hole in the legislative framework surrounding Cannabis in South Africa. Our government has in turn chosen to ignore these crucial aspects of regulating the Cannabis industry, somehow hoping it won’t come up? The Kafka-esque ‘Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill’ currently doing the rounds has been drawn up by people who do not understand the plant, its uses and the unique needs and advantages of the plant in the South African context. Hemp needs to be classed as an agricultural product and regulated to the same degree as the wine or tobacco industries. Before the law changed, South Africa was the third largest producer and consumer of Cannabis in the world. Let’s continue to overthrow the racist laws underpinning the failed ‘War on Drugs’ and properly empower our rural communities through the hemp and cannabis industries. Let’s build on the tremendous advantages we already enjoy in relation to this plant – the tourism, industrial and medical potential of Cannabis is unrivalled!

Furthermore, please stop equating Cannabis with alcohol – this is a logical fallacy that continues to vilify a good while edifying a harm. Cannabis can be turned into incredible protein rich dietary supplements, building material, plastics, clothing, textiles and effing rocket-ships if you are that way inclined. It can replace the oil and gas industries with clean energy and non-extractive technologies that rejuvenate the soil. Much like the climate change catastrophe we are lurching into as a result of the Anthropocene and our unwillingness to acknowledge the obvious, we are deliberately ignoring the vast benefits Cannabis already offers us in return for Industries that are rapidly destroying our planet. Yet I know the green revolution is here, since the economic imperatives of hemp can no longer be ignored – an informed society will demand the implementation of an inclusive hemp revolution that will bring generational wealth to our impoverished rural areas. It has begun and I am delighted by our flourishing future.

By George Joubert

During the last twenty years George has been self-employed in businesses as diverse as Event Management, Retro Furniture Sales, Marketing, Copywriting and Hospitality.
For the last ten years his focus has been Property Development culminating in his current business, Flourish Property.
Excited by the confluence of his two great passions – property and Cannabis – George believes the Cannabis plant will aid South Africa in resolving issues of self-sufficiency for small-scale farmers, and therefore alleviate economic impoverishment where it is needed most.

By working with landowners large and small, George aims to improve security of tenure and create large-scale employment.