We have heard this statement twice now on national television with no evidence to support it. CYPSA's first-hand experience shows clearly that dagga is in fact a gateway drug that leads smokers into the use of other dangerous drugs (we hesitate to use the word 'hard' drugs as this indicates that dagga is somehow less dangerous or 'softer' than these other substances).
We have been running a survey for a couple of years now, asking each individual that comes to us for help a few simple questions regarding their experiences with dagga. Of the over 8000 individuals we have interviewed to date, 96% state that the first drug they ever used was dagga! Of these individuals over 60% then progressed to the use of other substances, and the lives of most of these individuals are no longer manageable (they would not be seeking help from us if this were not the case).
We then conducted a more in depth survey with a smaller group, asking questions that relate to the arguments most commonly used by pro-legalisation lobby groups. In this survey, 100% of those respondents who started with dagga and then moved on to use other 'harder' drugs, stated that dagga was the gateway that lead them into the use of other substances. "If I had never smoked dagga, I would never have started using other drugs" was the phrase we heard time and again. This is not popular opinion or our opinion. This is the first hand testimony of ex-dagga smokers themselves, and what better evidence is there? We find that young dagga smokers are now progressing quickly to the use of heroin, sometimes without their consent or knowledge, due to the mixing of "whoonga" or "nayope" with dagga. A minority group within our society, who have smoked dagga with little or no negative effect to themselves (which is of course only their opinion and is yet to be verified by anyone within the medical profession), seek to have dagga legalized for their own convenience and pleasure and are willing to condemn unknown numbers to disaster by throwing the "dagga gate" wide open as a result of legalization.
In a recent interview, a pro-legalization lobbyist shared with the public the fact that dagga use amongst the youth in the Western Cape has now overtaken their consumption of alcohol. It seemed that he believed this trend to be a positive thing. Our youth will be the first to be destroyed and along with them the future of our nation. Our first duty is to protect our young people from becoming the next generation of dagga addicts. So let's chain and lock this gate that opens onto to a path of destruction once and for all!