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IFP continues fight to legalise dagga

IFP say the focus of a proposed bill is to give alternative ways to deal with cancer.

IFP say the focus of a proposed bill is to give alternative ways to deal with cancer. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A proposed medical innovation bill in its current form will legalise the commercialisation and industrialisation of marijuana.

The late Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament (MP) Mario Ambrisini co-pioneered the bill and now his colleague in the IFP, Narend Singh, is continuing to fight the cause.

Ambrosini, who was open about his battle with cancer, died last month.

He had campaigned the legalisation of marijuana for medicinal use.

He says the primary focus of the bill is to provide alternative ways of dealing with the palliative side of cancer.

Former land redistribution senior manager Mike Kenyon says the industry could be worth billions and believes this would be a step in the right direction.

"So the sooner one moves to bring in a huge industry out from under the control of organised crime, the better for everyone, for public health, for freeing up the justice system which gets cloaked up."

Earlier this year, a professor at the South African Medical Research Council said he was worried the debate around medical marijuana could be used to legalise the drug more broadly.

Professor Charles Parry suggested that there should be a review of international research before deciding to legalise or not.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) is opposing sections of the bill.

The party's Wilmot James says, "What we are not supporting is the commercialisation in the use of marijuana itself."

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