Police to escort Ganja users, during demonstration of legalisation of marijuana
WINDHOEK, APRIL 11 – Activist groups Ganja Users of Namibia (GUN) and Rastafari United Front (RUF) will strengthen their focus on revisiting and challenging enacted laws that they believe are “obsolete Apartheid” extensions that have inhibit the exercising of their rights within society.
The law in question is the Abuse of Dependence-producing Substances and Rehabilitation Centres Act of 1971, and the advocacy groups have scheduled a peaceful march slated for April 19.
“Ganja Users of Namibia (GUN) and the Rastafari United Front, both non-profit making advocacy groups, are organising a peaceful march to hand over a petition to the Speaker of Parliament (of Namibia),” read a statement issued by GUN and RUF President Brian Jaftha
“The petition aims to revisit, question and challenge the Abuse of Dependence-producing Substances and Rehabilitation Centres Act of 1971 which is an obsolete Apartheid law we believe should be amended or repealed immediately as it is undermining our constitutional rights and freedoms guaranteed to us by the Supreme law of Namibia,” read the bold statement.
GUN is home to about 600 members at the moment, while the Rastafari United Front (RUF) boasts a membership of about 1200 members.
In an attempt to solidify their cause, the groups have earmarked 19 April as a historic day, with designs focused on honouring both Easter Holiday, as well as another particularly historic moment in Namibia’s history.
“19 April 1960 was when OPO was changed to SWAPO Party. We also believe that this will be historic to our cause. The other reason is also to celebrate easter. So you see, this is a very historic moment for us, and that is why we chose that date,” said Borro Ndungula, General of GUN.
He added: “Even the radio stations are afraid to talk to us because we are dealing with illegal substances. Once we start with the petition, we will have more members. We are fighting for people in Namibia so that they can be able to use cannabis.”
Ndungula drew inspiration from other countries that have legalised the usage of marijuana, and said they were encouraged “by what is happening in other countries and globally, we can see that they are legalising there.”
“Last December, the government have taken out about 500 obsolete laws or outdated apartheid laws. We believe that the one we are talking about, the act of 1971, it is outdated. It is (premised on) apartheid.”
The March will start at Katutura’s B1 City are at 08h00 and will see members from the groups marching through Independence Avenue all the way to Ausspannplatz area near Angola House under police escort.
“Everyone that use cannabis for personal, social, recreational cultural, medicinal, entrepreneurial and religious purposes or support cannabis legalization in Namibia is welcome to attend. But we do not encourage the people to come out and smoke while we are in procession.”
For more information and interviews about the march, the two presidents have furnished their contact details: Brian 0812298082 or Borro 0817368517.
“The police will escort us. We have our rights and we don’t want to add a law; we are calling for an amendment. We have gone through the necessary steps by informing Nampol. Parliament is waiting for us. We also urge the people to bring refreshments and remain rehydrated,” said Jaftha via telephone.
He also said that although they have a lawyer, they would greatly appreciate more minds from the legal profession.
“We have a lawyer, but we would like more lawyers to come on board as well. We need legal experts, evidence and a lot of stuff. So it is a tough one but one advantage we have is that it has been won in South Africa, and we know that law people like to refer to cases and also, Namibia’s laws are quite similar to South African laws.”
Ndungula added that the following day, there will be a musical performance in celebration of world cannabis day the following day 20 April at Zoo Park – firstname.lastname@example.org