For those who have witnessed epic struggles over civil rights where they intersect with cannabis, the story in South Africa so far has been one of the most dramatic in the world.

Starting with this fact. Cannabis, everywhere, as of the early part of the twentieth century was connected, somehow, with an appalling level of exploitation based on race. South Africa, sadly, however, was one of the most fiercely fought battlegrounds, and for a number of reasons – all of which were geopolitical rather than scientific in nature.

In the U.S., Germany, and South Africa specifically, the associations with the plant (known locally as Dagga) were with the forbidden. With extreme racism. With “aberrant” sex. And whatever else supposedly came with that. Indeed, Harry Anslinger, the infamous American anti-cannabis crusader,…

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