No highs as SA dagga festival goes up in smoke

The Weedstock Festival was due to take place on a farm in Bronkospruit at the weekend.


JOHANNESBURG - The organisers of South Africa's first ever three-day dagga festival say they feel victimised and devastated after the event was cancelled because they couldn't secure permission from police.

The Weedstock Festival was due to take place on a farm in Bronkhorstspruit at the weekend, featuring a lineup that included 60 artists, farm stalls and several awareness campaigns about the benefits of smoking and using dagga.

The event was organised by the so-called dagga couple, who are raising funds for the court challenge over the legality of the plant, due to be heard in Pretoria next month.

Weedstock Festival organiser Myrtle Clark says thousands of rands have already been lost due to the cancellation and their campaign has been dealt a significant blow.

"We put down just over R150,000 in deposits. We don't want to cry foul until our legal team have had a look, but there is a chance that they've been profiling this event for quite some time."

She says even though their plans went up in smoke, the venue was still raided by police.

"Saturday they appeared again and then on Sunday morning, the police set up a roadblock on the road to the event. So there were a trickle of people who arrived not knowing that the event had been cancelled and they were all stopped and searched."

The dagga couple says despite submitting all the relevant documentation to the authorities, the festival was eventually called off due to the absence of one signature.