South African National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Position Statement on the Medicinal Use of Marijuana
• SANCA recognises that there is no legal provision for the medicinal use of marijuana. South Africa is amongst 95% of countries in the world which have classified marijuana as an illegal substance. SANCA's stance on the mattere is in line with this legislation.
• It is of utmost importance to take into consideration the fact that marijuana is not harmless. The fact that one third of all patients treated at SANCA nationally during the past year used marijuana alone or in combination with other substances testifies to this. International studies strongly support evidence that marijuana is the "gateway drug" to other drug abuse.
• There is no conclusive evidence that the medicinal use of marijuana would be any more effective than the medications which are currently registered with the Medicines Control Council. Further research in this regard is necessary.
• Comprehensive research outcomes (national and international) on the effectiveness of the medicinal use of marijuana must be weighed up against the proven harmful effects of marijuana use and the effectiveness of currently available medication. This will provide the basis for a review of policy on this issue which should include consideration of implications for health policy in general.
25 February 2014
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SANCA National's mission statement for 2020:
- To develop, consolidate and sustain outcome based addiction services in South Africa through active partnerships with governments and other stakeholders
- To facilitate the development, expansion and sustainability of outcome-based addiction services in Southern Africa through provision of training and consultancy services
- To influence policy formulation and to lobby and align SANCA with the initiatives towards safer communities
- To strengthen the corporate image of SANCA through effective marketing of our footprint
To be the most effective organisation in the field of prevention and treatment of chemical dependence in South Africa.
- Heighten public awareness
- Enlighten public and private sectors
- Prevent and reduce chemical substance dependence
- Provide treatment for dependents and families
- Advocate restriction of availability
- Offer specialised training and education programs
- Undertake and encourage research
- Mobilise and utilise community resources
- Empower communities through prevention programs