Human rights activist lays cards on the table…
By Marshallino Beukes
Human rights activist, acupuncture practitioner by trade and community volunteer, Angela Prusa (36) this week, during an exclusive interview with The Patriot, revealed that the legalization of marijuana in Namibia might not be as far-fetched as some might believe.
According to Pruse, who could not emphasize the advantages of marijuana enough, is currently busy engaging with the Namibian government, medical professionals and other relevant stakeholders on talks regarding the decriminalization and ultimately legalization of the “holy herb.”
Although not saying much regarding the consultations, she remarked that legalization of marijuana in Namibia might realize soon.
Prusa noted that she has vast experience in the cannabis business and worked on a cannabis farm in California, USA.
She also runs a business in Europe, trading oils extracted from the cannabis plant.
This “gypsy girl” as she calls herself was born in Windhoek and grew up at Omaruru in the Erongo region. “I guess I was a rebel since a very tender age.
Even during those years when corporal punishment was still legal at some schools, I stood up against it, because it’s my body,” she shared with the paper.
She left the country at the age of eighteen and according to her she went abroad to “un-educate” herself from the dark side of human rights she experienced in Namibia, like apartheid, and re-educated herself while travelling and staying in countries like Mexico, India, USA and the United Kingdom.
She has also been doing voluntary work at refugee camps all over the world and is definitely well acquainted with the dark side of humanity.
Nowadays she keeps herself busy with research on the history of the cannabis plant, and in the same breath advocating for the legalizing of it.
Furthermore Prusa, who returned to Namibia three years ago, is currently busy to voluntarily practice her acupuncture skills in the impoverished DRC informal settlement at Swakopmund, focusing on drug- and alcohol addicts, as well as trauma victims.
Remarkably she is also busy training locals in the DRC in the art of acupuncture.
This, she noted, is to empower the people and while practicing acupuncture and training the locals, she is also busy educating them about the many good uses of the cannabis plant.
Since her return to Namibia she is busy tracing the history of the cannabis plant in the country and her journey has taken her all over, including visits to the Topnaar community, the Kavango region, the Kalahari Desert and the South among others.
According to her research the cannabis plant dates back thousands of years, mainly utilized for medicinal and spiritual reasons.
She noted that her global research revealed that the plant can be traced back as far as 600 million years back, as a fossil discovered in Tibet indicates.
In earlier years the plant, besides from being used for medicinal and spiritual motives, was used for producing fabrics, shoes, and even paper, she noted, adding that the first petrol (fuel) even originates from the cannabis plant.
“Smoking marijuana and using it for medicinal purposes is only a tiny part of all the benefits linked to it.
Few people might be aware that the cannabis plant, just as sunflowers, can be utilized to clean toxins in the soil, especially in regions where mines are situated,” Prusa explained.
The most cases of cancer and cancer related illnesses are reported in the Erongo region and can be linked directly to the uranium mines intoxicating also the soil.
This can be controlled by establishing sunflower and cannabis farms surrounding these mines, she enthusiastically noted.
According to her she has sent numerous proposals, regarding this issue as well as other environmental matters to the Namibian government for the past four years, but in vain as she has not received any response on the subject as yet.
“Besides the fact that it will be environment friendly, these community farms will also be able to guarantee an income for poor and unemployed residents, in order to empower the people,” she noted, continuing to remark that “maybe it’s because there will be no money in it for the ‘fat cats’ as the income generated from these farms will go directly into the pockets of the poor, my proposals are disregarded.”
Jumping back to the topic of the cannabis plant, she stressed that this is one of the least harmful substances for human bodies, compared to harmful drugs like heroin, cocaine, and crack and even prescribed pain killers.
Did you ever hear of someone dying of an overdose (OD) of marijuana, she asked, adding that, in contrast people are dying almost every day as a result of OD of hard core drugs and painkillers, with the latter being freely available on prescription at pharmacies.
In countries where marijuana (and even other drugs) have been legalized, it has been proven that crime rates have dropped by roughly 50% in a matter of six months, Prusa remarked, adding that criminalizing marijuana and jailing people for using or possessing it only worsens the matter and more holistic ways to deal with this issue should be instituted.
On the other hand alcohol and cigarettes are freely available and widely advertised, as these are the actual “money cows” of the “fat cats” with billions of dollars at stake, although it is way more addictive than marijuana, with alcohol abuse the primary culprit in cases of domestic violence, murders and fatal vehicle accidents among others, Prusa fumed.
Another thorn in her flesh is the fact that many people commonly confuse marijuana with mandrax, as the latter is being smoked on top of marijuana, using a broken bottle neck.
The effect mandrax has on a users’ body contrasts vastly with the effect marijuana has, say Prusa.
Mandrax (methaqualone) was a legal drug in the USA and some parts of Europe during the 60’s until the late 80’s, and was banned because of its high level of addictiveness and also harmful side effects.
It went by the name Quaalude back then and was used to treat stress, insomnia and anxiety. Today, according to Prusa, mandrax is only available in South Africa, Namibia and a few other African countries, very barely on other continents.
A very interesting, but disturbing piece of history regarding mandrax, pointed out by Prusa, is the fact that a South African doctor, Wouter Basson (“Doctor Death”), during the apartheid era produced chemical weapons as well as drugs, including mandrax, which were supposed to “control the blacks.”
Mandrax tablets were supposedly disposed in huge quantities at black townships as a “last resort against the enemy.”
Basson, a cardiologist by trade, was head of Project Coast during 1983 under the orders of then President P.W. Botha was found guilty of unprofessional conduct during 2013 by The Health Professions Council of South Africa.