Criminal record for possession of dagga?

| Margo Fortune
Photo source: SAPS.

Gamat Abrahams of Athlone was one of seven men in their 20s arrested for possession of dagga on Friday night. They were sitting on the paving outside their homes when the police raided.

“We were sitting outside and talking when police raided the area. It was 10pm the officer searched us and saw a parcel of dagga on the floor. He told us to get into the police van.” The parcel, says Abrahams only had one dagga joint in it.

The men were charged, spent the night in jail and released the next morning on R100 bail each. No dagga was found on any of them personally.

Abrahams said, “We now might have criminal records. The officer didn’t once ask our explanation. The dagga wasn’t found on any of us but we were charged. They claimed we shouldn’t be sitting outside late at night. Because we are now faced with a record for something small this makes unemployment a risk.”

Professor JP Van Niekerk, Deputy Editor of the South African Medical Journal, is an outspoken critic of prosecuting people for drug use. “People who use drugs shouldn’t get criminal records, because most of them recover from it and then they are left with a criminal record and unemployment which leads them to using drugs again,” he said.

The spokesperson for Athlone Police Station was unavailable to comment.

TOPICS:  Crime

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Write a letter in response to this article


Dear Editor

How long does it takes to end a criminal record for possession of dagga? I'm realy interested to know this. I have a criminal record for this, and it's hard for me to get proper job.

Dear Editor

I was charged for possession of dagga back in 2015. The police officer found .5 grams of dagga.

I am still young and well educated willing to rebuild my future but I find it difficult to use my qualifications for job seeking because I have a criminal record.

Let's rethink charges for dagga possession.

Dear Editor

Sfiso were you sentenced?
And for how long?
Did you have a lawyer that was representing you?
Beacause I was arrested in Hillbrow because weed was found on my car tire and the weed isn't even mine, the cop even added more weed to the evidence plastic just to feel up the back so it could have weight.

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