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Ganja Users’ President re-arrested

Ganja Users’ President re-arrested

Zorena Jantze
THE president of the Ganja Users of Namibia (GUN), Brian Jaftha, has again been arrested by the Namibian Police after falling into a trap operation which saw him selling cannabis to an undercover police officer.
According to GUN secretary-general, Borro Ndungula, Jaftha’s second arrest comes after an undercover officer pretended to buy marijuana from Jaftha early Saturday morning, 3 July.
Upon the arrival of the GUN president, however, his supposed marijuana customer unleashed an undercover police operation on him. Jaftha was in April also taken into police custody after a military crackdown found marijuana at his residence in Havana.

BEHIND BARS AGAIN: Brian Jaftha. Photo: contributed

In a letter, Jaftha stated that his right to privacy is being violated by prohibiting the possession, purchase and/ cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption by an adult in a private dwelling.
“Cannabis used in private and not in public is protected by the right to privacy, even if the adult in question is not at home or in a private dwelling. For example if someone who has cannabis in their pocket for private consumption, and then step outside their home or dwelling, provided the cannabis remains in their pocket and is for personal use, it still falls within the constitutional protection,” Jaftha argued.
He further stated that the constitutional right to privacy is unjustly violated by parts of the country’s drugs and drug trafficking Act that allows a law enforcement officer to stop and search any person, property or vehicle on the grounds of reasonable suspicion of violation of the Act.
“Most drug arrests are made through stop-and-search or roadblock operations. A small portion of charges are for dealing as opposed to possession of drugs. Very few drug arrests are made at ports of entry, through special operations. Between 65% and 70% of drug charges are possession of marijuana. The presumption is that possession of over 100 grams constitutes dealing. This means that every year police seek out and charge about one in every 150 people for possession of an amount of marijuana that weighs no more than an apple,” Jaftha summarised.
The Ganja Users’ president further stated that Namibia must do away with the moralistic and paternalistic assumption that marijuana used by adults in private is always wrong and unhealthy.
“The current prohibition limits the right to privacy. The Constitutional Court of Namibia has no medical evidence that dagga in small amounts is harmful to users, particularly compared to the harm resulting from the use of alcohol,” Jaftha said.
Jaftha is expected to make an appearance in court this week.

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