There’s a green new deal in Melville


My enthusiastic friend and I went to the Green Market at Melville’s 27 Boxes last Sunday. It’s apparently a regular thing — “organic cannabis lifestyle”, it said. Cooooool, man!

We’d wondered if there would be actual weed on sale at this weedfest. It’s not exactly 100% legal to sell it publicly, is it?

READ MORE: Stoners guide to #dagga judgement: It’s not safe to smoke

Well, there was weed. There was indica, there was sativa. There was purple haze and there was white widow, or was it whitewalker? There was a massive, readymade zol cigar in a glass tube. There were perfectly rolled joints of different kinds. There was a nice man explaining dagga vapes.

Mind you, this was at the first stall we stopped at. I tried to tell my enthusiastic friend the rule of shopping: that one shouldn’t buy from the first shop you walk into, but he was already handing over the cash.

Another friend turned up and we sampled the wares in a quiet corner. Actually, not so quiet, because some bass-heavy reggae was being whoomphed out by some nearby DJs, but you know what I mean.r

We thought it would probably be okay to smoke there, despite the marginal illegality thereof, because there were a few Rastas in the food area puffing out huge clouds of dagga smoke and no sign of anyone rushing to arrest them.

After that, we had to go for a drink, naturally, so that was down to the bar beneath. We discussed the issue of legality, unsure whether dagga had now been properly decriminalised, or whether Parliament still had to rescind something.

It’s fine to possess a reasonable amount, we knew — though not what a reasonable amount would be. A joint? Three joints? A bankie? And, is it okay to grow the stuff in quantity? To sell it? What if we wanted to start a dagga plantation? We agreed we would have to do some research.

Then it was back up to the market. We were determined, in a lazy sort of way, to at least get a sense of the full range of what was on offer.

And, gosh, what a lot was on offer. And not just dagga-related stuff, or maybe it was dagga-related in a way we couldn’t discern.

Nice bomber-style jackets in African fabrics — clothes for zol-smokers? I hadn’t realised there was a dress code, though I’m ready to be educated.

There was food, but we weren’t sure. To eat a dagga cookie at that point would probably have brought us to a standstill.

We wandered past Snoop Dogg dagga vapes, which look good but are said to be an inferior product. And costly. We saw elixirs. We saw shampoos. We saw any amount of cannabis oils, from various companies — so that’s looking legit. We got a lecture or two on the health benefits of the oil, but then we weren’t really taking in much information by that point.

Oh, and vegan dog biscuits! We nearly ate a packet on the spot.

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Shaun de Waal
Shaun De Waal

Shaun de Waal has worked at the Mail & Guardian since 1989. He was literary editor from 1991 to 2006 and chief film critic for 15 years. He is now editor-at-large. Recent publications include Exposure: Queer Fiction, 25 Years of the Mail & Guardian and Not the Movie of the Week.

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