"I must admit, I have just smoked dagga because if I hadn’t, I would have had to use morphine and then I would not be standing here.”Before his passing, Ambrosini proposed the implementation of the Medical Innovation Bill to parliament. The Bill was only passed after his death, however it was seen as heading in the right direction.
"Access to medicinal cannabis on the African continent has taken another major step forward today. Verve Dynamics is honoured to be the first company in Africa to have been granted regulatory approval to begin the process of growing and producing high quality cannabis extracts commercially”, explained Managing Partner at Verve Dynamics Richard Davies.Although there is production of this illegal product, the Medical Control Council has yet to evaluate and approve the product. Once it has been approved, companies providing marijuana will have to carefully monitored. This is to ensure that the drug is only distributed for medicinal purposes to the correct people. Manufacturers will also have apply to the Director-General of Health for a permit.
"Over 115g of plant material is considered to be 'dealing'. South Africans can however use Judge Dennis Davis's ruling as a defense. Do not sign the admission of guilt. Apply for a stay of prosecution. This has and can be done," explains Higgo.This is even if you are using the drug for medical purposes. Higgo mentions that the medical marijuana is considered a Schedule 7 drug. This means that it is very difficult to get and if you are in need of this drug, you would have to motivate a strong case as to why you need it.
"Under this Act, medical practitioners can apply to the Council for permission to access and prescribe unregistered medicines - including cannabis - for their patients in certain exceptional circumstances."It goes on to mention that "authorization from Council is dependent on the submission of an appropriate dosage regimen and acceptable justification for the proposed and intended use." Dr Nematswerani explains that alternative treatments have been available for many years. "The Complementary and Alternative Medicines legislation is the Medicines Control Council’s proposed mechanism to regulate alternative treatments in the interest of public safety."
"Access to medicinal cannabis is aimed at being responsive to the wishes of patients and their carers in respect of conditions for which alternative, effective treatments are not available," states the Medicines Control Council's press release.Higgo mentions that marijuana is a growing industry that will make people a lot of money, medical aids will jump on the band wagon.
"When it is legalized there are going to be so many people using it. Medical aid schemes are about making money so I am sure that they will unless NHI doesn't allow for it."Time will surely tell so for the moment, it's best to keep your nose clean and wait until the drug is officially legal. *If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, check out this website for more info.