File photo: AP

Over the past 10 years, the Anti Drug Alliance has built a solid name for itself in South Africa.

We have been involved in many projects, helped many thousands of people with questions about drugs and addiction, treated many thousands for addiction, spoken at hundreds of schools, and worked with many companies – from small businesses to listed concerns.

Our dedication to ensuring the public knows the truth about drugs and addiction has taken us on an amazing journey into dialogue and action towards regulation and legalisation of drugs in our country. 

Prohibition seems to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks we have come across in our journey.

Our organisation now works with many communities and NGOs to go about being the change we want in South Africa. 

Our name, though, has been causing many raised eyebrows. 

Honestly, why would an organisation called the Anti Drug Alliance be for the legalisation of cannabis, for instance?

We really are the book being judged by its cover. Our ethos has always been one of innovation, pioneering, learning and change.

And so yesterday, the Anti Drug Alliance ceased to exist.

In its place, a new organisation called The Clear Option has now taken over. Many of our current services to the public will remain, and we will continue to lobby for legislative change, joining our dear friends the Dagga Couple and Jeremy Acton in their bids to re-legalise cannabis in South Africa.

What will happen next began as a conversation and a seemingly crazy statement by ADA founder and chief executive Quintin van Kerken: “People shouldn’t be in rehab for cannabis. People in rehab should be given cannabis!”

The ethos of innovation, pioneering, learning and change will continue, and with this in mind we will be launching a first on the continent of Africa; South Africa’s first cannabis-friendly rehabilitation programme.

Many have noted that cannabis is an exit drug. It is also known that cannabis has many medicinal qualities. 

We will be using cutting-edge treatment techniques in conjunction with cannabis to ensure that people with substance use disorder have the best chance at success.

Cannabis is currently illegal in South Africa. There are numerous court cases and social movements, that will mean that cannabis will be legal very soon in South Africa. 

The Clear Option programme will be the first addiction treatment programme of its kind, and will work within the confines of South African law to ensure that those in need of this natural medicine will have access to it – to help them overcome addictions to prescription medications, alcohol, and drugs such as heroin and crystal meth.

We look forward to continue serving South Africa – this time without the constraints of an archaic-sounding name.

We are The Clear Option when it comes to addiction treatment. 

We are The Clear Option when it comes to educating the public about drugs and addiction.

We are The Clear Option.

Quintin van Kerken

Chief Executive of The Clear Option