You are reading this either because you have been arrested on a Dagga charge or you want to know what to do if you are. From this point on we will assume
you have been arrested and address the matter accordingly.
Firstly, the experience of being arrested is extremely stressful and you need to work on not being scared. Fear disempowers : it hands over your power to the cops / law / government / whatever you want to call the establishment that is harassing you.
This is easier said than done as there is no button to just “switch off the fear”. The
way to take back your power is to EDUCATE yourself. Know your rights, do your homework, explore all your options. These options are:
1 Try paying your way out of the situation, either with money (bribing an official) or with lies (talking your way out of it by professing your innocence).
We DO NOT recommend that you try either of these options.
2 Hope for a dismissal of your case, by whatever means. Cases have been dismissed but this is on the whim of the magistrate. Your plan might not work and
then you have started off on the wrong foot.
3 Appoint your own lawyer and follow his/her advice. Most lawyers are not up to speed with the issues here and the approaches here are as numerous as there
are lawyers in the land! Lawyers are very expensive. You may appoint your own lawyer and join our case so that your lawyer is also guided along the path.
Your lawyer can speak to our lawyer.. you know how it goes! There will come a time when we will not need lawyers anymore but we have found that this is the
best way so far.
4 Use The Report in your defence (no lawyer). This approach is advocated by the Cannabis Embassy of South Africa. The Report is an UK publication outlining Human Rights with regard to Dagga laws.
The Cannabis Embassy has claimed that there have been many cases dismissed through people using this book on their own in the courts. We are unable to
verify any of the cases but strongly recommend that you buy this book through the Cannabis Embassy website and contact them if you wish to use the book as
your only defence. The Cannabis Embassy will take you through the process. Buy the book even if you do not go the route they recommend. Its only R350.
5 Join The Dagga Couple and The Dagga Party of South Africa in our legal challenge. You will be in charge of your own case but we will guide you
through the process (hence this pamphlet) and you will have access to our documents and experience. Here you need to become proactive in the community and
keep us updated of your progress.
CHAPTER ONE : Walking The Path Together.
Now we will assume that you have chosen Option 5 and have decided to join
The Dagga Couple & The Dagga Party of SA and our path through the courts. Read through our case summary and the statement after it.
THE REASONS WE ARE TAKING THIS MATTER TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL
1. The South African legal system is sufficiently corrupt that we had the option to pay a large sum of money for our case to “disappear”. After
our experience at the hands of the police we are not prepared to just pay our way out of this. Corrupt behaviour will ensure that the police will be
breaking down our gate sometime in the future.
2. We wish to demonstrate the ignorance at all levels of law enforcement when it comes to the prohibition of Dagga.
3. We will provide evidence that the laws prohibiting the use of Dagga in South Africa have their origins in the racist colonial laws of the early 20 th century. These laws are also dictated by international statutes based on propaganda in the United States and have no bearing on our local
4. The enforcement of the prohibition of Dagga costs the South African taxpayer millions every year. These resources could be utilised in a more efficient
manner & the re-legalisation of dagga would pave the way for the development of the hemp (which is also the Dagga plant) industry, which would create
jobs in the agriculture, bio fuel, textile & medical industries.
5. Our Human Rights have been violated by a law that is unjust & irrational, not supported by any empirical evidence & outdated. The punishment far
outweighs the “crime”. Smoking dagga is a “victimless crime” and should not
be seen as a crime at all.
1. We reserve the right to smoke Dagga in the privacy of our own property, with whom we wish. We are not harming anybody & no government has the right
to treat us, the tax payers, like criminals.
2. The prohibition of Dagga leads to organised crime. This is fact and is supported by extensive research, both locally & internationally. Because the
makers of the law have been informed by propaganda that is blatantly incorrect, organised crime surrounding the growing & marketing of Dagga is a major
problem in South Africa.
3. We reserve the right to self medicate. We are both very healthy individuals and we believe that our daily use of Dagga contributes to our healthy immune
systems. Dagga has been used as a medication for thousands of years. We
both contribute in significant ways to the society around us and, far from
impairing our abilities; we believe that our use of Dagga contributes to this
We propose that the law prohibiting the use of Dagga in South Africa is based on propaganda and hearsay, based on protecting the industries that benefit
from its prohibition and not based on protecting its citizens. In short, the prohibition of Dagga is unscientific & wrong.
The struggle for individual freedom is the most important thing that western culture has given to the world. South Africa is a shining example of a people
who have suffered for this freedom. However, the ideological hatred of Dagga has limited the personal freedom of millions of users. The most likely harm
that one might experience from using dagga is being arrested and thus the prohibition of dagga directly results in curtailing individual freedom. The
prohibition of Dagga has resulted in much of the official information made public on the use of Dagga being incorrect, unscientific & biased in favour
of the prohibitionists. The public need information that they can trust. An example is the comparison between the rise in the use of highly addictive
substances such as heroin, crack cocaine & methamphetamine (tik) with the fall in the use of another highly addictive substance, tobacco. The decline
in tobacco use was not due to it becoming illegal & people going to jail for its use. The decline was due to large scale public information drives.
Eventually governments have warned the public in a truthful manner about tobacco but, as the other substances mentioned are all classed as
„drugs‟, an ideological term, there is conflicting and often misleading information available. Dagga is placed in the same category as
„tik‟, resulting in misinformation & lack of honest, open, debate on the subject.
The state has become the enemy through prohibition of Dagga. Millions of South
Africans break the law every day by smoking a joint after a hard days‟ work. They
become the enemy of the state by doing so. The law purports to be protecting citizens from themselves as smoking Dagga is considered risky behaviour. There
are many examples of risky behaviour that are not controlled by the state. For example: Skydiving, Joining the military… The law does not minimise the
responsibility of the consenting adult when it comes to making the decision to pursue these activities yet the decision to relax with a joint at the end of
the day becomes a criminal activity.
Taking Drugs is often seen as a frivolous, lightweight pursuit. What is not acknowledged in most parts of our society is that so-called “drugs”
such as dagga are also used for exploring consciousness. People learn about themselves & their environment through the use of Dagga. The right to
explore one‟s consciousness is fundamental to the human condition. In the context of society as a whole, it is akin to freedom of movement &
freedom of speech, both cornerstones of a democratic system.
If we use words like freedom we have to use them to their full extent. It has to be our choice. It is possible to healthfully integrate altered states into
one‟s lifestyle. The law does not take this into account as it is mired in ideology and misinformation.
This statement is a declaration of our rights (as enshrined in the Bill of Rights) after years of personal experience and research on the subject. The
issues surrounding the use of Dagga have been blown out of proportion. We continue to be astounded by the huge volumes of information available on the
subject yet the laws remain unchanged due to ignorance.
CHAPTER TWO : The First Stage: Arrest & Court Appearance
It is important to note here that this can be done with or without a lawyer. So you are arrested because you are in the same place as some Dagga…
1. The police will arrest you and take you to the nearest police station. They will have a lot to say and will ask you questions. Do not
talk to the police. Do not make up any stories once it is clear that they are going to lock you up. Get locked up and tell them to get on
with the paperwork. Here they might do one of two things:
a. Let you out on police bail with a piece of paper that says when you must appear in court. This is usually the next day or, if the arrest is on a
Thursday or Friday, you‟ll probably sit until Monday. Pay the bail, leave the police station and contact us immediately. You may also contact
your own lawyer at this time but you must make it clear that you know your rights and you are going to use The Dagga Couple case as a precedent to postpone
your case. The above also applies if they let you out with no bail and just a warning to appear in court on the specified date.
b. The police might not let you go. They are only allowed to keep you for 48 hours, at which time they have to deliver you to court.
1. You appear in court for the first time. DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY or NOT GUILTY during your first court appearance. If you have not paid bail, bail will be
set and the next court date set. If you have paid bail, ask to be released on a warning and for a postponement for the opportunity to seek legal advice.
2. Your first court appearance is very short and stressful being in the dock for the first time. As you will have, by now, followed our advice to start
yourself to overcome the fear, it won‟t be that bad!
You will FEEL like a criminal but PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT!!!
4. You now need to provide us with a DETAILED account of what happened and we can prepare for your next court appearance.
CHAPTER THREE : Second Court Appearance
1 This will happen anytime from 1 week to one month after your first appearance.
2 Here you can read out a plea bargain that has been used in our cases. We will tailor make the document for you or you can give ours to your lawyer and
he/she can rewrite it for you and read it in court. This first plea is all important. It sets the tone and it is very important that we all say the same
thing here. What you will have to say will take the Magistrate and the Prosecutor by surprise, we guarantee that!
3 When your turn comes up in court, ask the Prosecutor to turn on the court recording system and inform him/her that you will be reading out a Plea
Statement. Have two copies of your statement and inform the Prosecutor that you will hand him/her a copy AFTER you have read it out.
4 Now the court will be suitably surprised. Straight after you have read the Plea Statement, ask for a postponement for the opportunity to seek further
legal advice. It is advisable to ask for a THREE MONTH postponement at this stage.
5 Then ask for a copy of the charge sheet. You need the charges against you in black and white. This comes from the Prosecutor and you must insist on this.
6 Now hand your spare hard copy of the Plea Statement to the Prosecutor. Then the judge will speak and most likely grant your postponement. Adequate time
has been given to all the cases who have joined our so far. These cases have
been in Magistrate‟s Courts in various parts of the country.
7. Straight after the proceedings, have a fat toke and contact us immediately so we can start setting up the next stage.
CHAPTER FOUR: Preparing For The High Court Submission
It is very important that you give us a DETAILED description, in writing, of your case as soon as possible after you contact us. This must be updated after
your second court appearance. This is so that we can adapt our High Court papers for you. You need to hand deliver your papers to open a case in the High
Court. This needs to be done before your third Magistrate’s Court appearance.
The following should happen after this:
(We will be updating this information with more detail soon.)
1 There is an uncontested hearing in the High Court. This is not a trial. It is a hearing that is supported by an affidavit which is tailor made document
for you, based on ours. At the hearing you will use our affidavit as a precedent, in addition to yours.
2 After the hearing you will be given 60 working days to summon the government to answer to the charges that you have laid. You are charging the government
for enacting irrational and unlawful laws. Now the tables will turn and the government will be the defendant and you the plaintiff.
3 The hearing should happen before your third Magistrate’s Court appearance which was meant to be a trial.
4 When you go to the Magistrate’s Court, instead of a trial you will show them the outcome of your High Court application and they will have no
choice but to strike your case off the roll, pending the outcome of your High Court case.
CONCLUSION : For This Part Of The Info
Right now we know that this all seems a bit complicated. Go back and read our summary and statement again. As The Dagga Couple we know that it
been much easier to make the case “go away” but this would have made us into criminals, which we are NOT.
The Dagga Couple are paying their legal team to set precedents for all Dagga cases in SA. We rely on your support to keep us going, both psychologically
Stay informed and share the knowledge.
Dagga is not a “drug”. You are not a criminal for using it and how come a plant can be illegal anyway?
THE PUFFERS GUIDE
TO BEING ARRESTED
Compiled by The Dagga Couple;
and The Dagga Party of South Africa