January 28, 2021

VOICES | Is marijuana dangerous or not?

(Photo, Cannabis plant, commonly known as Marijuana. Picture by Michael Fischer/Pexel)

Opinion Article By Solam Yves Ludidi

Even though marijuana has been legalized in South Africa for private use, there are still people who consider it a drug. They believe it changes a person’s personality, perception, and behavior. But how can a natural herb be a drug? And what harm does it cause to the body?
These questions remind me of the late Jamaican reggae legend Peter Tosh, in his song Legalise It. The lyrics go along the following lines: ‘Legalise it, yeah yeah. That’s the best thing you can do. Doctors smoke it. Nurses smoke it, judges smoke it, even lawyers too. It’s good for the flu, good for asthma. Good for tuberculosis, even Numara thrombosis’.
If, however, it heals certain diseases obviously dagger does no harm to the human body. My research on this subject started off by asking people: Is marijuana a plant or drug, and if it’s a plant why it is considered a drug? My group of interviewees consisted of Jeremiah Lebusa, a self-employed motor mechanic; Petta Wuinnaar, unemployed; Nomsa Ngobese, an internet assistant and Dumisani Ndarana, a general work.

Jeremiah: “It’s a discovered plant just like natural resources such as coal, platinum, gold, and diamonds. Take, for instance, a sangoma may prescribe it for a client who wants to excel in his job. And that is for a good cause”. Petta: “It’s just a flower that makes you feel good. It isn’t a crazy mind-altering substance”. Nomsa: “Marijuana is a plant and drug”. Dumisani: “They say it’s a drug but it’s a plant. I bet you everything you think is bad about weed is all myths.
Most doctors say that survival dagger can be addictive and has short-term side effects. They include memory loss and trouble thinking. It is said that marijuana also has harmful long-term effects such as lung cancer, a weakened immune system, and increased heart attack risk in the hour after smoking it.

Research expert Professor Mitch Wallick, who is an executive director of C.A.R.E Addiction Recovery ( a holistic drug rehabilitation facility in the USA) says:”There is no question that marijuana should be considered a dangerous drug. It is carcinogenic, mood altering, motivation destroying and life-wrecking. In the alternative, the same be said for such dangerous medications as Valium (a tranquilizer used to relieve anxiety and relax muscles), Opiates (medication that has the quality of inducing sleep), diet pills and even Tylenol (an analgesic for mild pain). When any medication is misused it becomes a clear and present danger. Clearly, marijuana does have medical benefits. In short, the problem is not with the medication, but the medication user”.

Whether you consider cannabis plant a dangerous drug or not, I leave that to you my fellow brothers and sisters to decide. In the meantime, I raise my fist up in the name of ‘Ahoy’! Hence I would gladly consider smoking a healing herb than a chemical drug. And you?

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