Reader disagrees on the legalisation of dagga

Editor

AS an academic, I don’t agree with the opinion on the safety of dagga. As a pharmacist, I am thankful that it is being pointed out by teachers that dagga is dangerous.
I also have noticed that the pro-cannabis lobby groups are using the term ‘medicinal use’ incorrectly. In fact, medical professions understand ‘medical use’ as the extraction of one molecule from the plant (everyone in the medical profession knows that the whole plant is dangerous). I don’t understand this reasoning that a harmful plant that have the potential to cause cancer should be used as medicine. This notion is a joke.

Medicinal use, definitely does not imply the use of the whole plant. Indeed there are more than 60 different cannabinoids with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) being the most toxic component. The potency of THC has escalated during the past few years, with especially high concentrations found in South Africa. I agree, that the most vulnerable group is the young people.

I can confirm that the side effects mentioned by the teachers are true. These include short term memory, judgement impairments and longer-term risks of altered brain development, lowered IQ, cognitive impairments, psychiatric symptoms, psychosis and substance addiction. By the way this is well documented by international academic journals.
All professions should stand up for the best interest of the child. In fact, I think the irresponsible lobbying promoting the plant as safe and a medicine to be used, should definitely be taken up as a complaint to the Medicine Control Council.

An Academic

Durban North

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