When such sensitive social or political issues come under the spotlight, the vote of the people can at least be taken into consideration. File picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency/ANA
Hi, and how high are you today now that you’ve got the freedom to smoke dagga at home?

You may call me an old-fashioned Grundy if you wish, but I wonder what Judge Raymond Zondo and his learned friends at the Constitutional Court were smoking when they went on this trip to decriminalise the private growing and smoking of this weed scientists call Cannabis sativa but we, as mere locals, refer colloquially to as ganja.

My parents must be turning in their graves after learning about this week’s controversial court ruling because, in their book, “Thou shalt not smoke dagga” was one of the unwritten Commandments.

In those days, if my parents just happened to have overheard from a third or fourth party that someone vaguely resembling me was rumoured to have been seen in the company of someone remotely connected to a reputed dagga rooker, I’d be grounded for life.

And if you insist on calling me an old-school conventionalist, then I suppose that should also apply to our Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, who makes no bones about his opposition to the private use of dagga.

Ask him where most of the crime at schools and universities these days emanates from and he’ll readily tell you: dagga smoking is often the entry point to other more serious drugs like mandrax, cocaine, tik, whoonga and sugars.

There’s also medical research which suggests a link between heavy use of dagga and certain psychotic disorders.

And if you don’t believe me, go and ask those mothers and fathers in Chatsworth, uMlazi, Phoenix and KwaMashu whose children are entrapped by drug addiction and become so desperate they steal every item of worth in their homes and often beat up their own parents for money to feed their dependence.

What’s also strange about this ruling is the lack of clear guidelines on how it will be put into effect.

As I understand it, South Africans can now grow dagga in their back yards and flower pots, roll up a joint and smoke it for personal use.

But buying the stuff is, however, still illegal.

Which means if I cultivate the weed in my back porch and my offended neighbours huff and puff about the smell wafting through their open windows, they’re simply wasting their breath.

To act against me would be infringing on my inalienable right to equality, dignity and freedom.

My humble suggestion is that when such sensitive social or political issues come under the spotlight, they should be subjected to a public referendum. In an advisory referendum, the vote of the people is not binding but can at least be taken into consideration when any eventual legislative or judicial decision is taken.

Excuse me for a minute while I plant my seeds - I’m aiming to be a high achiever.