• Krokodil

    Desomorphine, better known by its street name Krokodil, is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine with a powerful, fast-acting sedative high akin to that of heroin.
    This extremely addictive, injectable opioid is named, in part, because users report black or green scaly skin as a side effect – the flesh then starts to "harden, rot, and fall off," often in chunks. Addicts will usually die within two years of first use.
  • Tik (Crystal Meth)

    "Tik" is the South African street name for crystal methamphetamine.
    It has a very bad reputation in South Africa because it is more potent than other forms of meth and because it is so easily available. It started off as the drug of choice in poor communities because of its affordability, but has since spread to other levels of society.
  • Heroin (Whoonga/Nyaope)

    Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.”
    South Africa is currently experiencing an epedemic of heroin abuse in the form of cheap heroin nicknamed "whoonga", "nayaope" or "sugars".
  • Buttons (Mandrax)

    South Africa is the largest abuser of Mandrax in the world.
    Statistics show that Mandrax with Dagga is still the drug of preference in the largest parts of South Africa. Mandrax is mainly sold in the form of a tablet and is highly addictive.
  • Ecstasy

    Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.
    Mixed with alcohol, Ecstasy is extremely dangerous and can, in fact, be deadly. So widespread has been the harm of this “designer drug,” that emergency room incidents skyrocketed by more than 1,200% after Ecstasy became the “club drug” of choice at all-night “rave” parties and dance clubs.
  • LSD

    Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) (popular street name "Acid") - is the strongest and most popular hallucinogenic substance known.
    LSD users call an LSD experience a “trip,” typically lasting twelve hours or so. When things go wrong, which often happens, it is called a “bad trip,” another name for a living hell.
  • Prescription Medication

    Abuse of prescription drugs can be even riskier than the abuse of illegally manufactured drugs. The high potency of some of the synthetic (man-made) drugs available as prescription drugs creates a high overdose risk.
    The consequences of prescription drug abuse have been steadily worsening, reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits, and overdose deaths.
  • Alcohol

    Alcohol affects every organ in the drinker's body and can damage a developing fetus.
    Intoxication can impair brain function and motor skills; heavy use can increase risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver disease.
  • Dagga

    By no means a "safe" or "soft" drug as is so often claimed.
    In some ways, the effect on a user's mental health for example, dagga can be more dangerous than heroin.
  • Tobacco

    Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis, heart disease, pregnancy-related problems, and many other serious health problems.
    Each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers.
  • Cocaine

    Extracted from coca leaves, cocaine was originally developed as a painkiller. It is most often sniffed, with the powder absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. It can also be ingested or rubbed into the gums.
    Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs known to man. Once a person begins taking the drug, it has proven almost impossible to become free of its grip physically and mentally.
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Wednesday, 18 November 2015 00:00

Argument 1: They say ... cigarettes and alcohol kill thousands every year and are legal, yet nobody has ever died as a result of smoking dagga and it remains ILLEGAL... but...

"What about cigarettes and alcohol?" is a red herring regularly thrown the public's way by those advocating the legalization of dagga in South Africa.


Nobody in South Africa can claim ignorance of the numbers killed in drunk driving incidents, alcohol fuelled violence or by lung cancer. What this proves though, is that we should be extremely cautious in going ahead with the decision to add a third substance to this already toxic mix. For years people warned society about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol and only now are people accepting the truth about these substances, and only after the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. Should we as a nation not heed the many warnings surrounding the legalization of dagga? Should dagga be legalized and the negative consequences begin to show themselves further down the road, it would be extremely difficult to reverse the decision at such a late stage of the process and to once again make dagga illegal. This is the situation we now find ourselves in with alcohol and tobacco.

All substances are dangerous in their own way and to compare dagga with cigarettes and alcohol achieves no result. Dagga may never havedrug killed anyone (at least not directly and not that we know of yet) but in its effect on mental health for example, it could be considered more deadly than heroin. Dagga smoke is in fact more dangerous by far than cigarette smoke. Once dagga is burned (combusted), thousands of chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen cyanide are produced and enter into the body. It contains far more tar, carbon monoxide and other cancer causing substances. In some cases up to 70% more! These toxins which are produced during combustion are the reason that the smoking of dagga is especially harmful to the human body.

Cigarettes are already generally accepted by the public as being extremely toxic and dangerous, yet they contain far less toxins than the smoke produced by dagga which we are lead to believe is a safe drug! Can a substance which contains chemicals such as cyanide and ammonia be considered safe and beneficial?

By legalizing dagga for use, the state will be giving their 'stamp of approval' that the positive qualities of the substance far outweigh its bad qualities. They must first take into consideration the harm to society that would result, which far outweighs the benefits of the freedom to smoke and use dagga freely and legally.

Read 1869 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:56
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