Trial of the Plant underway in South Africa

This week the Trial of the Plant finally went underway in South Africa after 7 years of preparing. 

In South Africa there are around 3 million people using cannabis. It is the first country in the world where cannabis use was banned and that was as early as 1908. The main reason? To control that part of the population which was using cannabis the most at that time, mostly the black Africans and the Indians. Until today Dagga, which is South African slang for cannabis, remains a schedule one ‘drug’ alongside heroin.

The Dagga Couple

In August 2010, Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs (nowadays known as The Dagga Couple), received according to their website:

“…a very heavy handed visit from the South African Police Service (SAPS) who, acting on a tip off, raided our property in search of a ‘drug lab’. What they found was a quiet middle aged couple in their pyjamas and a quantity of Cannabis Sativa (aka Dagga). We were arrested after a five hour ordeal in our kitchen, jailed, and because we had more than 115g of the substance, we were charged with dealing in Dagga. We were subsequently granted bail and released. We have always known Dagga is illegal, just like millions of other South Africans who choose to break the law every time they use this plant. We have done no harm to ourselves by ingesting the plant, and more importantly, we’ve done no harm to anyone else. As far as we can see, the only harm that comes about from using the plant is when the police arrive and treat Dagga smokers as guilty scum.”

Trial of the PLant

Trial of the Plant

Day 0+1

For the last seven years Jules and Myrtle have been preparing for a trial of the cannabis plant. Together with expert witnesses, they’re determined to set set a legal precedent in South African law.

This week, the Trial of the Plant finally got underway. After initial hiccups over live streaming rights, it looks like the trial is finally underway again.

Update 15:25

South African news website Times Live reports the Trial of the Plant can be livestreamed and the trial can go ahead.

When a livestream is available, we will update this post accordingly and add the link. Until then, keep an eye on twitter at #TOTP, #TrialOfThePlant, of course The Dagga Couple website (and Facebook, Twitter) and their NGO Fields of Green for All.

Update 15:27

Day 2

Day two started, with several links being spread to view the livestream. But as expected with the problems from the past few days, things didn’t go smoothly. First, a stream appeared:

And details were read out on the conditions:

As it looks now, newschannel SABC is the only one who can show the stream on their channel:

You could watch part of the rest of the day:

But the day in court was already over around 15:30:

Tomorrow, day 3.

Update: The Trial of the Plant has been postponed until further notice, as reported by The High Co. Doctors for Life entered a staggering 4000 pages report of evidence while the trial was already underway, eagerly trying to further stall the trial. Watch our latest report: