The legalization of marijuana in South Africa

Good or bad move for SA?

So whilst most thought of this as an April Fool’s joke, others shook their heads in disbelief as the news broke throughout SA. Marijuana legal? Are you serious?

The Western Cape High Court has ruled that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes and the ruling allows for the possession, cultivation and use of dagga at home. This ruling is to regulate access to medicinal cannabis for prescribed health conditions.

This means that medicinal marijuana will be prescribed for severer health conditions such as severe chronic pain, muscle spasms, cancer pain control, severe seizures resulting from epileptic conditions and various illnesses where alternative treatments have not had positive results.

Most of the reaction to the verdict has been positive with some hailing it as a step in the right direction – however others are warning it could prove to be a dangerous move for those who abuse it for the sake of a high.

Dr Shaquir Salduker from the psychiatry management group says the ruling could have adverse effects. We at Eden Recovery Centre specialize in cases and understand the negative effects marijuana can have on the body and mind from long-term abuse. Studies showing the damaging effects marijuana has on dopamine receptors and our brain’s reward system suggest marijuana could lead to the use of many other different drugs.

In one study done by the University of Michigan Medical School, researchers found a negative correlation between the amount of marijuana consumed over time and the amount of dopamine that was released in the brain in response. This study suggests a change in the reward system over time with a high-inducing drug like marijuana. This decrease in the amount of dopamine released creates a plateau effect. Smokers could possibly then seek other drugs in order to achieve the high they used to experience with pot.

But until the constitutional court confirms the ruling and refers it to the national assembly – the use of dagga is still illegal in terms of the country’s laws.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.

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