LEARNERS SAY CANNABIS IS NOT HARMFUL
By: Sthabiso Mdledle
There are many reasons and explanations as to why young people smoke cannabis (a plant in which its leaves and seeds are used as a recreational drug) in South Africa and abroad.
According to an article written by Jenny Hope, on Daily Mail, cannabis could kill up to 30 000 smokers a year.
Even with these unhidden statics, young people still find it amusing and “cool” to smoke this drug.
In Gugulesizwe High School, at Mandawe in Scottsburg, Zithobile Ngidi is a teacher and believes that smoking dagga while at school or at a young age causes learners to drop out of school.
“I know for a fact that teenagers between the ages of 15 and 21, who are still at a high school level will malfunction because the drug affects their level of thinking and decreases their performance in class,” Ngidi said.
Khanyisani Khomo (28), a security guard at Croekes Brothers LTD, claimed to have been using the drug since his high school days in 2003 until 2007.
He said that for him and his friend’s dagga is not a drug but a herb that helps them relax and enjoy each other’s company.
“I believe that dagga makes you more of what you are. If you are lazy you become lazier, and if you are bright or smart you excel. For me cannabis smokers should evaluate their abilities before they
even start using,” said Khomo.
According to Khomo, in most cases cannabis is associated with criminals and hobos, which is why society believe that the use of this herb is the leading reason for school drop outs as most smokers
starts at a young age.
Thokozani Lukhozi (38), a teacher at Gugulesizwe High School shared his insight and experience on
“In 2009, an incident occurred during a fund raising event that was organized by matric learners, where a learner from our school was caught by police in the school premises selling dagga to
learners,” explained Lukhozi.
According to Lukhozi, that learner was suspended from school and couldn’t study for three years as he was still under police custody.
Doctor Letasha Kalideen, a specialist physician from St Augustine Hospital, believes that children aged between 10 and 12 start smoking for fun. Kalideen said that when you are young and you
pretend to smoke using a cigarette that was previously used, then you begin to want more than the wasted cigarette.
“I think weed actually gets introduced at a later stage. Unfortunately the effect of cannabis is quiet serious, it can lead to anything from psychotic episodes, delirium and multiple complications in a
body point of view,” she said.
Kalideen added that cannabis is often viewed as something that does not cause much harm but it is highly addictive, it can retorts you in many ways.
However, Weza Sibiya (17) from Kwahluzingqondo High School, believes that smoking cannabis does not affect your performance in school.
He said that he started smoking cannabis at the age of 13 when he was still in grade 7, and he has never encountered any problem in his studies.
“I concentrate, and pass very well. To me dagga is not a drug it’s a herb that I take to relax. I do not see myself getting sick or dropping out of school because of dagga, there is nothing wrong with it, infect I think it keeps me healthy,” he added.