S.Africa grows the most Cannabis in Southern Africa
- From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
[It is blacks who are growing the stuff. As Africa grows poorer, the
blacks are turning to this sort of trade. Jan]
Pretoria - Sustainable development was needed in rural South Africa to
discourage the cultivation of cannabis (dagga), the International
Narcotics Control Board says in its 2004 report, released on Wednesday.
Dagga remained the major drug of concern throughout Africa, the document
states. The continent was also a major source of dagga found in other
illicit markets - mainly in Europe.
In many African countries, cultivation of the herb was increasing as a
result of declining prices for other agricultural products.
"The board looks forward to the government of South Africa providing
rural communities with programmes for sustainable development that
discourage cannabis cultivation."
South Africa was the Southern African country with the highest
cultivation of the drug, followed by Malawi.
The report says there was evidence that some civil conflicts in Africa
were partly funded by profits from dagga trafficking.
As to other drugs, the report states that South Africa was one of few
African countries were cocaine abuse was a problem.
It also had a growing problem of heroin abuse.
Heroin was increasingly being injected by users, rather than smoked, with
serious implications for the spread of HIV/Aids, the report says.
It points to a rapid increase in the Cape Town area of abuse of
methamphetamine hydrochloride ("ice" or "speed") - apparently smuggled
into South Africa from China.
There was also a growing availability of methcathinone ("cat") - which is
clandestinely manufactured in the country.
"The abuse of methaqualone (mandrax) continues to be a matter of concern
in South Africa, as well as in other countries in Southern Africa," the
It noted several successes by South African authorities in intercepting
mandrax being smuggled into the country.
As to the use of MDMA (Ecstasy) in Africa, it appeared to be largely
confined to South Africa, the board found.
'Most of it is smuggled'
"Most of the substance is smuggled into South Africa, but some MDMA is
also manufactured locally."
The report cites Africa as "a very weak link in international drug
While African governments were investing increasing resources into drug
programmes, these appeared to be inadequate.
"The board therefore calls upon the international community to provide
appropriate assistance and support to states in the region to enhance
their efforts to combat drug trafficking and abuse."
Many African countries had limited institutional and technical capacity
to deal with the drug problem, and had insufficient mechanisms and
skilled staff to prevent drug trafficking.
The provision of counselling, treatment and rehabilitation facilities was
The board expressed appreciation for the African Union's commitment to
drug control, and took note of plans to create a drug control
co-ordination and advisory capacity.
It also noted efforts of African countries to enhance regional
collaboration in drug control.
In South Africa, the legal framework for drug control was comprehensive
and in compliance with international conventions, the report states.
While there were sufficient controls over "licit" narcotic drugs,
psychotropic substances and "precursor" chemicals used to make illicit
drugs, implementation was hampered by a lack of co-ordination.
"The board urges the government to ensure improved co-ordination and
co-operation among the regulatory and law enforcement institutions and
agencies responsible for drug control issues," the document reads.
The board thanked South Africa for its efforts to foster co-operation in
drug control at international and regional levels.
The board is made up of 13 independent experts mandated to assess
compliance of governments to international drug control conventions.