Johannesburg 201209 Dagga leaf in the hostle water. Members of the local volunteers together with the SAPS conducted a raid at the Dube Hostle, Soweto and a field behind the hostle where dagga was growing was found during the raid. No arrests was made because the suspects had fled before the poicemen arrived. picture : neil baynes

Johannesburg - Legalising dagga in South Africa will show disregard for the negative affects of drugs and alcohol on communities, the ACDP said on Wednesday.

“We are concerned that the serious problems facing our country due to (the) abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs will be obscured by ‘red-herrings’ like debates on legalising dagga,” said African Christian Democratic Party MP Cheryllyn Dudley.

Consumer insights company Pondering Panda said on Wednesday that a survey had revealed that three out of five South African youths were against legalising the plant.

Pondering Panda spokeswoman Wendy Wakefield said a debate about the legalisation of dagga was relevant as South Africa was already experiencing a serious drugs problem.

She said to legalise and regulate the sale of the drug could reduce its negative affect on society.

However, Dudley said the move would be a cowardly and irresponsible approach.

According to the survey, only 38 percent of the 5024

participants supported legalising dagga. Men were found to be more supportive of legalisation than women. - Sapa