A multi-ethnic society, South Africa is known for its eclectic array of traditions and cultures and this past week, the country is reported to have legalized the use of cannabis; a decision that has attracted a lot of conversation from both sides of the platform. Cannabis, locally known as Dagga in South Africa is known to be used for medical purposes but not without causing side effects.

Throughout the legalization of cannabis in South African households, one thing was clear; the country’s law did not explain any rules and regulations that should be followed by the common men while using the drug.

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Although the action taken of decriminalizing cannabis use by high Court is said to be limited to personalized use (meaning people can have possession of cannabis in their private spaces), it gives no guarantee that it doesn’t lead to the high industrial cultivation of the drug across South Africa.

So what does this mean for South Africa's future?

Let’s have a look at some possible consequences that may arise as the country moves forward with the new law.

Crime ratio increase across the state:

Any kind of cannabis practice is illegal in most of the countries of the world. After its legalized cultivation in South Africa, its trading would be increased across the states which can lead to a high rate of crime. Vendors are now allowed to trade openly, and the drug is no longer a black market item.

Inevitably, access to the youths and the general population is increased; and so are the negative effects when used such as unwise decision making (petty crimes truancy, etc.). The nation faces the issue of cannabis dependency and addiction; a condition that affects 4 million Americans and millions of others worldwide.

Cannabis: Health Hero?

On the other hand, cannabis can do wonders if used in a right amount and for right purposes. Its use for the medicinal purpose becomes effectively easy after its clarification by the South African Government. Direct ingestion of cannabis or intake by smoke has been shown to be effective for treating multiple diseases such as cancer, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis and may even decrease the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease. The South African population dealing with these medical issues will welcome the ease of access.

However, having no restrictions on the usage of the drugs by the individual can lead to its excessive use. Any person in the country can use the drugs according to their personal discretion which can be highly corrosive for their health. The drug is also being used in many other ways.

A component of the drug, cannabis oil is being used widely for medicinal purposes such as a cost-effective treatment of neurological diseases. It helps in controlling epileptic seizures, improves heart health, can be helpful with insomnia and can relieve anxiety and stress.

Children in danger:

It can be argued that children adopt what is seen from their elder’s actions rather than their teaching. This raises the point of children committing and viewing the use of drugs with a dismissed level of caution and maybe exaggerated confidence which can highly destructive.

As the people celebrate the legalization of cannabis, the future of South Africa may be at stake due to not presenting any restrictions on its usage. While it certainly is a step forward in the medical world, the plans for regulation of its use remains to be seen; a factor that may very well make the difference in South Africa's future.