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ISSUE 6Cultivating the Freedom and the FutureAn Interview with Myrtle Clarke Cailin FourieWe stole a few moments of time from Myrtle Clarke, in between the Cannabis Expo’s in Cape Town and Durban to get her take on what’s happening in the country right now and what it could mean for Cannabis South Africa moving ahead. When we asked her how Fields of Green for All was contributing to cultivating a healthy, diverse and honest cannabis-centred economy, she replied that “Fields of green for all is an NPO that is dedicated to legalisation of cannabis for all South African citizens, and all citizens of the world. We were established in 2013 and have been hard at work to achieve our goal. I can confidently say that we are the reason that people are able to, and hopefully will, cultivate a healthy, diverse and honest cannabis-centred economy. If it weren’t for our efforts that started years ago, we wouldn’t be this far along on the road.” We asked about how they are cultivating education and awareness? “We work very hard across our social media platforms, websites, events, and various appearances across the country and broadening the base of knowledge around cannabis, so that we may achieve evidence-based regulations and be free from the terrors from the SAPS. That remains the most important aspect, as people are still arrested and locked up in cages on a daily basis.” When we checked this out, we saw that there seems to be a recent upswing in police raids that result in dropped charges and are not prosecuted. Cannabis representation is becoming a need for anyone trying to forge a business within the industry.
“As a civil society organisation, our role is to create a bridge between public health and criminal society. It is not very healthy when our citizens are arrested for breaking bad laws. Our slogan is “Good people disobey bad laws” and that probably best sums it up.”
When asked about their future plans Myrtle had this to say: “We are very focused on more Victories! We have had a few victories along the way, but we are still far from the desired outcome of having evidence-based laws implemented in South Africa. We will keep going, no matter what, until we are all free, because none of us are free until we are all free. The only way that we can achieve this, is for the government to look at the evidence and look at how cannabis laws must pass constitutional muster in our courts. “ What is your advice to whomever is appointed as the President's Cannabis Advisor? “Evidence-based regulation are the crux of cannabis law transformation. Whoever is appointed needs to firstly look at evidence-based information. At the moment, what is coming out of parliament is not based on solid, scientific and societal evidence. This is crucial for us to get through to the president’s office.” Strong words from a strong Woman, a wise President would do well to heed them!