Thousands of South Africans took to the streets of Cape Town on Saturday, in a procession demanding a relaxation of drugs laws to allow medicinal and recreational use of cannabis.
With some smoking the substance, locally known as Dagga, around 3,000 protesters took part in the march in a backdrop of reggae music, while waving red, green and gold flags.
“We were marching for the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in South Africa,” lead organiser Johannes Berkhout told AFP.
— Cannabis Club Aus (@CannabisClubAus) May 8, 2016
We were marching for the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in South Africa.
“There is more than enough evidence around the world about the medicinal benefits of cannabis,” he said, adding that legalisation would create a “safer and much more controllable” use of the drug.
Supporters also took the opportunity to praise the substance which they refer to as the ‘miracle plant’, with some calling it a “cure for cancer” and a “spiritual escape”.
In 2014, a South African opposition lawmaker Mario Oriani-Ambrosini submitted a draft legislation calling for the legalisation of marijuana but died soon after.
The activists believe that a change in legislation can change the lives and improve healths of many. The protest was one of a series of marches around the world in support of the Global Cannabis Campaign.
Use of cannabis and medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity in some parts of the world to ease suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, and other serious conditions.