Re: Marijuana use in Africa?

henry harpending (
8 Apr 1995 05:51:45 GMT

In message <3m3e3n$> - Ian Samson <> w
>While the "weed" has been used by people in SA for centuries,
>it is regarded in medical circles as being of the best quality
>in the world - Transkei Gold, Durban Poison, Malawian Gold, are
>just a few. The authorities in SA regard the "weed" with great
>suspicion despite case studies and relentlessly go about destroying
>it at every opportunity.
>I cannot venture an opinion based on "culture", but I do know that
>marijuana is liked by those who use it, and hated by most other people.
>We live in a very intolerant society.
>In South Africa, Canabis is referred to as "dagga" (very gutteral g's
>as if clearing the throat) and there is a decided stigma attached
>to the word, not to mention the stigma attached to its fragrance!
>(This is all my opinion, and must not be regarded as anything official)

In Botswana there is widespread indignation that the government,
following international agreements, prosecutes dagga growers and
users while supporting several breweries. There is a terrible
death toll in the country from drunk drivers.

My experience is that marijuana use in rural Botswana is much like
marijuana use anywhere else except that getting seriously impaired
is regarded as boorish and dangerous, much as we regard drunkenness.

Henry Harpending, Penn State University