Thousands of pro-dagga lobbyists came together in Cape Town CBD on Saturday, 6 May, to march for the legalisation of cannabis.
Hilton Elske, chief operations officer of Bongalong, said the aim of the march is to try and expose as many people as possible to the culture of cannabis. “We want to show the people, as well as our government, that we are not afraid to stand for cannabis and the power lays in the hands of the people,” Elske said.
Myrtle Clarke and her partner Jules Stobbs, also known as the “dagga couple”, addressed the crowd and said that this plant does not cause any harm. Clarke said: “ You [the government] can’t say it’s fine to smoke dagga but stay at home. That is not good enough. We want to smoke this plant where we want to smoke this plant.”
“These gatherings represent our voice and we need to have it heard. This year we are not just marching for medicinal cannabis, but we are marching for the recreational use of it,” said Johannes Berkhout (also known as “Smokey Jo”), managing director of Bongalong.
Stobbs mentioned that he had never seen such a diverse crowd before and that shows that it is more than just a select few who utilise cannabis – people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and classes use cannabis.
Torique Isaacs, a participant in the march, said he supports the cause because “marijuana helps him with creativity”.
According to Elske, this march was originally started by André du Plessis in the year 2000, but “it has recently skyrocketed over the past four years with numbers almost doubling each year”.
The SAPD accompanied the crowd with their march through the streets of Cape Town which started in Keizersgracht Street. A number of marshals also accompanied the group to ensure that it will happen peacefully.-Martinette Hay