Cannabis accounts for over 80% of police investigations in South Africa, leaving less than 20% of investigations dedicated to solving serious crimes such as murder, rape and hard narcotics. If legalized, just ONE YEAR of tax revenue could build 50 000 low cost houses, thus providing shelter and homes to thousands of destitute people. Keeping the herb illegal is simply ridiculous and amounts to a scandalous situation. Spraying it and poisoning the people in an attempt to get rid of it is, in my opinion, pathetic, costly and futile. It is a complete waste of time and money. The best the SAPS can hope to achieve from this inane exercise is to open doors for massive civil cases from people who have been poisoned as a result of their negligent actions. These cases could potentially bankrupt the SAPS.
It is high time the SAPS (and governments the world over) realized that cannabis is not going to go away. It has always been around and it is here to stay. A superfluous prohibition is not going to change people's attitudes towards it. Aside from being met with resistance, making cannabis illegal simply encourages its use; as more people discover that it is not as harmful as they were led to believe, so too will even more people give it a bash. This scenario can be likened to the failings of alcohol prohibition in the United States with which it shares so many similarities it is uncanny.
Speaking of the US, cannabis has been decriminalized in the state of Colorado. The following quote, taken from Forbes, reveals the financial success the move has proven to be.
It is a well-known fact that South Africa produces some of the best cannabis in the world. With hundreds of years worth of expertise to draw from, as well as having the ideal climate conditions for growing cannabis, our rural farmers are producing a level of quality that could command excellent prices from a very demanding international market. We should be promoting South African dagga as we promote our fine wines. We should patent the term "dagga" in the same way as the French have done with Champagne. This would create a wealth of job opportunities for our country which suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Instead, our leaders continue to show an alarming lack of business savvy by sending in the cops to kill our cash crop. It doesn't make any sense!
Considering all of the above, for the SAPS to be wasting millions in resources and further damaging their already shoddy reputation is more than just lamentable; it is an absolute disgrace! The money being frittered away on their pointless obsession would be far better spent addressing real concerns. Helicopters could be deployed to protect our rhino from their current poaching crisis which has seen an escalation of incidents in excess of 9 000 percent since 2007. Manpower could be allocated towards attending to real issues of crime, for example getting serious narcotics off the streets or protecting our dwindling wildlife heritage from the onslaught of poachers.