Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Waiting Has Begun | Dagga Couple

The Waiting Has Begun

Posted by Jules Stobbs 1 comments


It’s over one week since the deadline lapsed for the SA government to respond to our summons. The summons was served on seven government departments and seems to have fallen on stoney ground.
Maybe we have to get used to this kind of behaviour but if the boot was on the other foot and we were the defendants, we’d be fed to the lions for missing a deadline.

Our legal council has been instructed to expedite this issue and we will keep poking the beast until it stirs into action. The more we prod it, the angrier it will get, but hey, we want to get on with things here. It’s quite possible that they’ve never been treated like this in a Dagga case and there’s a lot of logistics at their end – after all, seven govt. departments is quite a thing to co-ordinate.

Most court level Dagga cases involve a smoker who’s arrested, charged and put in the dock. Any delay is a bonus to a defendant in that instance. The more the delays, the more likely the docket will be lost, misplaced, or the evidence gets smoked at the policemans ball……
In our instance the more the delays by government, the more the chance our case gets lost in a backwater and obscurity reigns. To this end we are still looking for a ‘Friend of the Court’ , an NGO, a lobbyist group, a philanthropist who joins our cause as an interested party so the govt. cannot get away with sinking our ship.
They’ll try.
The interesting thing is, written into the summons is a bit that says ‘If you don’t answer, we’ll take that as a dropping of  the charges and we can get on with our life’.
That kicks in a bit further down the line, though. If they completely ignore us then they are conceeding it’s cool to have a lot of dagga in your house, because that’s why we were arrested in the first place.

It’s imperative we keep this case in the limelight so the government cannot get away with stagnating it.

We are occasionally  introduced to people who have attempted a constitutional challenge on the Dagga subject but one way or another nothing came of it. Some of the documents now in our possession from interested parties are a history lesson for South Africans on the subterfuge at play for the last  40 years when it comes to Dagga. For sure the criminality of Dagga in South Africa  is based on ideology rather than science, as it is in most of the world over. Can’t imagine that anyone within govt. want’s the Dagga status quo attacked in any way.

The overiding aspect of the Drugs & Drug Trafficing Act is that the ‘onus’ is on the accused to prove their innocence as opposed to the state proving any guilt.
It’s a unique statute in that way.
What this means in our case is that the state, as the defendant, has to prove the harmfulness, addictiveness, habitformingness and all the other nesses that prohibitionists roll out time and time again.

We don’t think they can……science and studies are on our side….

Something’s going to give…..

For now, we will be attempting to expedite the matter by sending letters to the respective departments via our attorney. Failing this, we will have to get another High Court order compelling them to respond. We are hoping for a response before the silly season sets in. That way we will at least have an idea of the way forward in the new year.

We’re on it and will keep you posted.

Jules & Myrtle

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