Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires, former Chairman of the Cannabis Movement, is concerned about what he described as confusion and misinformation regarding cannabis decriminalisation.
In a statement on Monday, de Caires said that the rollout and public relations in connection with the amendment to the Misuse of Drugs act allowing the possession of 1 ounce or 28 grams of cannabis and the ability to grow four plants per household had fallen short of the intended target.
“We would like to make it quite clear that these changes do not mean that public consumption of cannabis is now legal. We realise that some persons believe that this is the case and would like to inform those of you who are involved in this practice to desist immediately,” de Caires stated.
” I would hate to think that we have fought so hard to reach this far and get so close and there are those of us out there who want to mess up the vibe even before we even get going,” he asserted.
“That behavior is exactly what the people that oppose legalisation predicted. So I ask again, please do not give these people fuel to add to their fire,” de Caries urged.
“To get respect, one must give respect and we must respect other people’s right to breathe smoke free air. There are persons out there that have medical conditions such as COPD, asthma and allergies and others that just do not like the smell of ganja burning. There may be children around and we do not want to encourage early initiation by setting bad examples. If we ganja people say that the herb makes us conscious, well let us prove it to the detractors and let us show them that we respect other people’s rights,” the former Cannabis Movement Chairman said.
He advised cannabis users to ensure they do not infringe on the rights of others and smoke only in designated areas.
In addition, de Caires observed that consuming ‘edibles’ is a big issue.
“When cannabis is heated, it increases its potency and as a result, edibles can be extremely potent and overdosing on edibles can easily land you in the hospital,” he said.
According to de Caires, it is difficult to determine the potency of a piece of cake or cookie, or brownie. “So please be very careful with consuming edibles,” he advised.
And de Caires appealed to young people who are still attending school to refrain from smoking ganja, warning that early initiation retards brain development.
Nevertheless, the former Cannabis Movement Chairman urged the creation of a multi-billion cannabis industry that will be profitable for thousand and protect the vulnerable while reaping the economic benefits.
“We would like everyone to understand that there is no turning back,” de Caires declared.