The Trial of the Plant is finally underway after 3 days has been wasted on broadcasting rights as well as the state not being happy with the volume of scientific evidence that was presented months in advance by the FOGFA legal team. The application by the state to strike out evidence, as well as expert witnesses from the roll has been denied by Judge Ranchod today, which opened the door to move on to start the trial and put expert witnesses on the stand.
But before that bit of progress happened, state Adv Willis argued very disrespectfully that a study showing cannabis use helped pain in HIV patients with neuropathic pain, is completely irrelevant because The Dagga Couple does not have HIV. After this very misplaced statement, Willis went on to say that the dagga legalisation case is not in the interests of the general public but in interests of the plaintiffs because they are facing criminal charges. Was the HIV study as part of the evidence presented not more aligned for the general public then, irrespective of the Dagga Couple’s known or unknown HIV status?
After Judge Ranchod refused to strike any evidence off the roll, Prof David Nutt took the stand and literally took the whole afternoon to go over his acclaimed credentials.
Prof. David Nutt is a neurologist, psychiatrist and has a PHD in pharmacology. If that’s not enough to grab your attention, you might need to consider that he is famous for being fired by the UK government for saying that taking ecstasy is safer than riding a horse, David Nutt is a British psychiatrist a neuropsychopharmacologist, specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep. He was, until 2009, a professor at the University of Bristol heading their Psychopharmacology Unit.
Since then he has been the Edmond J. Safra chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London. Professor Nutt was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines, and President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. His book “Drugs Without the Hot Air” won the Transmission Prize for Communicating Science in 2014.
In November 2016 Professor Nutt co-authored a seminal paper submitted to the World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Drug Dependance as a pre-review to their re-assessing of international drug laws. Entitled “Cannabis and Cannabis Resin”.
Professor Nutt is the “Scale of Harms” expert for The Trial of the Plant and will be pivotal in providing scientific evidence that Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal to use within a regulated system in South Africa. For further credentials and a summary of the scientific evidence to be presented to the court, please see Fields of Green for ALL’s Expert Witness page.
Prof David will be giving testimony to his studies and research conducted with cannabis on Friday Day 05 of the Trial of the Plant.
You can catch Prof David Nutt at the Clinical Cannabis Convention Saturday 05 Aug 2017